Irish communities have rallied to help Ukrainian refugees escape to safety with a variety of initiatives, from free English classes to arts fundraisers and special integration programs.
The community response has been hailed as one of the largest Ireland has ever seen to a humanitarian crisis.
Hundreds of groups are now working to ease the transition to Irish life for Ukrainian refugees and to support them during their stay.
In Tipperary, Cahir is now offering free English courses to all Ukrainian refugees.
Cahir, which hosted Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall last week, is said to be Ireland’s most multicultural city with more than 50 per cent of the local population being born outside the country.
The Fáilte Isteach group offers conversational English classes for everyone – but has launched a special inclusion campaign for Ukrainian newcomers.
Director Fidelma Nugent said the tuition is particularly important for families trying to adapt to help their children adjust to the Irish education system.
“Most Ukrainians who are coming now have not decided to leave Ukrainethey did not, of course, choose to come to another country where Ukrainian is not their mother tongue [the standard] mixed up,” she said.
Fidelma said her main goal is to be compassionate and welcoming to all refugees.
Ireland’s leading cross-border art gallery and cultural center Hambly and Hambly will now hold a globally accessible online auction of first-class artworks by Irish and Ukrainian artists in support of the Ukrainian refugee crisis this weekend (1st-5th April).
More than 40 internationally renowned Irish and Ukrainian artists, including Philip Flanagan, Laurence O’Toole, Maria Kulikovska, Michelle Boyle and Eamon Colman, have joined forces with the aim of making a meaningful contribution to humanitarian relief through art.
All proceeds from the sale of the donated artworks go directly to UNICEF’s appeal for Ukrainian refugees.
Award-winning Irish actor, author and gallery patron Ciaran McMenamin will open the auction tomorrow (Friday) at 12pm.
The online event will be preceded by a filmed discussion between Irish, Northern Irish and Ukrainian arts and culture representatives. Art Auction Ukraine was initiated by Hambly & Hambly in partnership with Limerick-based internationally acclaimed artist and curator Maurice Quillinan and critically acclaimed Northern Irish artist Diane Henshaw.
More than 40 high-end works of art have been donated to this weekend’s auction, with selling prices starting at significantly lower rates (20 pieces) than their original value.
The event provides an exciting opportunity to acquire world-class original Irish and Ukrainian art at unusual prices while supporting a humanitarian cause.
In Cork, the Blackwater Ukrainian Solidarity Group wants to create a local support network to make refugees feel welcome.
Social entrepreneur and founder of Sanctuary Runners, Graham Clifford, said it was important to “get the ball rolling” so that newly arriving refugees feel safe, happy and welcome in each Irish community.
Public use of the Ukrainian flag and colors helps refugees feel welcome.
Sports, music and cultural associations are invited to play their part by actively promoting the inclusion of Ukrainian refugees and their children in particular.
In Kerry, ordinary families are encouraged to help refugee families by meeting them for coffee – and showing them their new Irish communities.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/english-classes-coffee-mornings-and-art-auctions-irish-communities-rally-to-help-ukrainian-refugees-41507278.html English classes, coffee mornings and art auctions: Irish communities gather to help Ukrainian refugees