Unitarian Refugee Welcome Committee

Update on the Community Sponsorship Group.

Our committee met on zoom on Thursday evening 28th January 2021. Mary O’Brien updated us on the latest news of Syrian families due to arrive from refugee camps in Lebanon. Due to the current international situation with Covid 19, there have been many delays in organising the relocation of Syrian refugee families. Two other Dublin based community sponsorship groups, who initially hoped to welcome families last October, are still awaiting final arrangements for the date of their arrivals. They hope to welcome the families in early February. We have been advised by our Regional Support Organisation, the Irish Refugee Council (IRC), that we may still have a long wait before a family will be assigned to us.
          Mary also reported that our fundraising is quietly building up and we have, for the second time, reached our target of 10,000 euro and indeed have even gone a little bit above that. Last March we were in the position of having rented a house when we were informed that we would most likely not be welcoming a Syrian family in 2020. Through the IRC the house was offered to a family coming out of direct provision (DP) The committee took a decision at that time to use some of our fundraising to set the family up in their new home and we also helped several other families coming out of DP. This was done on a limited budget which was handled through the IRC.
          A decision was made at our meeting that we will once again use some of our funds to help people in DP. The suggestion was made that we help students in DP who need access to a laptop for online school lessons and, to that end, we decided to use 3000 euro to cover the purchase of as many laptops as that will buy.
          We are still working in the background planning for the day when we welcome a Syrian family and we sincerely thank everyone who has helped us in so many ways to date.