A Midleton Community group is looking to rent a two bedroom property, as they prepare to welcome a family of Syrian refugees to the area. The Midleton / Syria initiative have worked for months organising employment, language lessons, school places, doctors and psychological supports for the family, as part of a Government programme.
The Department of Justice Scheme allows groups of volunteers to welcome refugees into their town or village. The young family is expected here next month from a camp in Lebanon where a group of eight East Cork residents hope to provide them with a house and furnishings.
The pilot, supported by the Irish Red Cross, Irish Refugee Council, NASC- the Irish Immigrant Support Centre and Human Rights Organisation, was launched in March by Minister of State for Immigration Emigration and Integration Deputy David Stanton.
The aim of the initiative is to have 10 communities, each of whom will help a refugee family start a new life here. The families are supported for up to 18 months by the groups, helping them access services and provide the friendships and supports necessary.
Dunshaughlin in County Meath and Lismore, County Waterford have already welcomed a Syrian family under the programme.
Sean Ahern from the Midleton Family Resource Centre said escaping the dangers of war and persecution can incur a huge psychological toll on refugees. He said “these people have witnessed horrendous things happen. We’ve seen too many kids washed up on beaches not to do anything”
Hundreds of thousands have died in the brutal eight year civil war. For many thousands fleeing to Europe the journey ends in tragedy in the Mediterranean. Others are caught in a limbo as they arrive with hopes and goals but can’t go anywhere.
In 2015 Ireland committed to accepting 4,000 refugees under the UNHCR Resettlement and EU Relocation programmes to help with the migrant crisis.
The country has accommodated just half that number so far.
For further information, or to offer accommodation, please contact the Midleton Family Resource Centre on 021-4633522.