A group of mothers who met at a playgroup have raised €25,000 to house a Syrian family in Dublin for the next two years.
The community-led initiative, which is the first of its kind to happen in the capital, will see a family of four move into a two-bed apartment in Rathgar just before Christmas.
Through coffee mornings, anonymous donations and “just outright generosity”, the mothers will be able to give two parents and their children a home.
The integration of the family was facilitated by the Red Cross and has received approval from the Department of Justice.
Speaking to Independent.ie, one of the 12 women behind the heart-warming initiative said they are blown away by the response.
“The difference between this and Direct Provision is it’s simulated and organic, it’s people showing they are prepared to open their arms and help a family integrate into the community,” Anna Kierans said.
With Ireland in the midst of a housing crisis, the group were concerned about finding somewhere to accommodate the family, but it wasn’t as difficult as anticipated.
“I met with a landlord who was very open to the idea. They get rent and we’re welcoming a family so it all worked out well,” Ms Kierans said.
The Syrian family are currently based in Lebanon and will arrive at Dublin Airport over the next couple of weeks.
“We’re due to have a Skype call with the family next week. They have two boys aged 4 and 6 and up until now they wouldn’t have known where in the world they were going to end up.
“We will become their neighbours, befriend them, help set up play dates with the kids and help them to become financially independent and settled into the community.
“We’re not going to be shoving lots of people into a small space. We are giving them somewhere they can call home.”
Ms Kierans was inspired to get involved with the idea as when she was young her parents gave up their full-time jobs to help refugees in the UK.