Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sabrina Farrell, Philip Murray, Ann Crimmins, Annette Fox, John Carley, Fergal Bolger and Jason Culleton at the announcement of the sponsorship of CCDP welcome packs for Ukrainian refugees by Carlow Lions Club


By Suzanne Pender

 ALL of us have been deeply affected by the scenes of devastation and horror we have witnessed on our television screens since the start of the Ukrainian war in February.

Members of Carlow Lions Club are supporting the efforts being made locally to support Ukrainian refugees by sponsoring welcome packs provided by County Carlow Development Partnership (CCDP) to Ukrainians arriving in Co Carlow.

CCDP has been tasked with co-ordinating the humanitarian relief effort in the county and are committed to ensuring the refugees receive the appropriate supports once they arrive here.

They meet with each refugee when they arrive, assist with completing paperwork and provide immediate supplies. Through a collaborative approach with other agencies, they assist in finding employment opportunities, identifying educational opportunities and ensuring the health needs of refugees are looked after.

A key factor in assisting the refugees to progress is the provision of English language classes and supports.

However, most refugees arrive in Ireland with very few personal belongings; they are tired and they may not have had access to wash facilities during weeks on the road, crossing long distances over Europe.

The welcome pack consists of toiletries, snacks and information to welcome guests to Carlow.

Each back has a QR code which links the person to a portal where they can access all the relevant information. They are very well received by the refugees. Towels, nightwear, flip-flops, baby items and medical products are also provided as a matter of urgency.

Carlow Lions Club has sponsored these packs as a gesture of support for Ukrainians. Lions Club president John Carley stated that the sponsorship of these packs is a practical initiative of support to CCDP in the settling in process of the refugees in Ireland and in Carlow in particular.

He noted that it was not so long ago that our forebearers had to leave this country because of famine and war. Their journey was long and arduous and when they landed in Boston or New York, there was little or no welcome for them.

“With a long history of emigration from Ireland, it is deep within our nature to welcome people to our country, especially those in need and in dire circumstances fleeing from war. Hence our continuing support for our Ukrainian neighbours in their time of great need,” said Mr Carley.

Carlow Lions Club is currently developing several initiatives in the coming months to ensure that our guests feel welcome and have opportunities to progress.




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