Lorraine Cleary

<p class=”MsoNormal”><span style=”font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif; color: #333333; background: white;”>In our community we have worked with the Irish Red Cross. The Irish Red Cross work</span><span style=”font-family: ‘Georgia’,serif; mso-bidi-font-family: Helvetica; color: #464b4e; background: white;”><span style=”font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; widows: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-thickness: initial; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; word-spacing: 0px;”>s to enable refugees in Ireland to integrate into Irish society and achieve their potential. Some of the ways they do this are through enabling and assisting with private pledges of accommodation, while providing a wraparound service such as engagement with schools, jobs, health services and counselling. </span></span></p>
In conjunction with the Red Cross, Community Sponsorship Ireland program, several parents in our school opened their homes to families providing accommodation for refugees from the war in Ukraine. Our school welcomed Ukrainian children of all ages and worked diligently to provide support, counselling, friendship, safety and of course education. Our Parent Teachers Association in conjunction with the school organised collections of clothes, toys, food packages, books. We held coffee mornings to raise money for their ongoing support and also to introduce our new families to the rest of the school community.

However I do feel, this past year we have been lax in our actions and that we need to rejuvenate our efforts. I will encourage our staff to use the lessons included in this module to refresh childrens education in these areas and encourage classes/school to see what actions we can take to ensure continuity of support. I would like to invite an Irish Refugee Council speaker to give talks in our school. I’ve requested more information about the Irish Red Cross Youth to see how we can promote it within our school. Hopefully we will make more of an impact this year.

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