A 12-year-old Ukrainian refugee will be welcomed home to his second home in Ireland with his grandmother after a Dublin teacher reached out on social media to offer them a home.
Atherine Flanagan, from Glasnevin, followed Yeva and her aunt Irina’s story through Channel 4 News and Twitter.
When she heard they wanted to move to the UK, Ms Flanagan contacted the reporter covering the story and said they should go to Ireland, as no visas are required and they could stay at her home in Dublin.
Yeva and her grandmother are currently in Hungary, fleeing their home in Kharkiv after it was destroyed by Russian shelling.
They will arrive at Dublin Airport on Friday evening after Ms Flanagan today booked them flights from Budapest.
The plan was that they would then live with the teacher, her husband and 20-year-old son at their home in Glasnevin.
“Their apartment was bombed, so they went all the way west but they couldn’t get across the border because they had nowhere to go,” the high school teacher told Independent.ie.
“And she’s a sweet little girl and she’s been keeping a diary in lovely little English things so I looked at her and I thought ‘she’s like any of my freshmen. ‘.
“She was talking about wanting to go to the UK, but you can’t go to the UK, they closed the border so I tweeted Paraic [the Channel 4 News reporter] and I said, “Tell her to come to Ireland and I’ll take care of her.”
Through the help of the British broadcaster, Ms. Flangan was able to contact Yeva and her grandmother, and they had a call to Zoom to discuss the situation.
“Therefore they [Channel 4] effectively got her as far as Hungary and from there they linked me to her and gave me her phone number, we zoomed in and talked.
“So it all completely snowed from there. We don’t have much, we live in a very ordinary house with one bathroom, but we are both teachers so from that point of view we know that we can help them and help them navigate.”
The Dubliners were busy preparing the house for their arrival. She has turned their study into a bedroom and also has a ‘seomra’ in the back garden with a sofa bed, so the two will have their own room.
“I don’t think they have anything to go back to so they can stay here long-term, we haven’t set any parameters around that,” she said.
“But I know we can help in a practical way. Even if she is living somewhere else, I know we can go ‘this is where you can open a bank account’.
Ms Flanagan said while she was happy to help, it was difficult and the past few days had been “an emotional rollercoaster”.
She established a GoFundMe for Yeva and her grandmother, has raised €4,690 of the €5,000 goal so far.
“Grandma said ‘we have clothes on our back’,” said the teacher.
“They have nothing, they don’t have access to their own bank accounts, their extended family is in Russia and because of financial constraints they can’t send any money to them, because So, they get welfare but how would you live in Dublin on welfare with a 12 year old girl?
“So we will deliver that money [from GoFundMe] Give them whatever they feel they need. If they plan to stay for a longer period of time, they will need a deposit for somewhere, so there’s a lot they’ll need it for. “
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/we-dont-have-much-but-we-can-help-dublin-teacher-offers-her-home-to-ukrainian-refugee-12-and-her-grandmother-41436199.html ‘We don’t have much but we can help’ – Dublin teacher offers her home to Ukrainian refugee (12) and her grandmother