Sunday 22 April 2018

Initiative to bring Syrian refugees on sightseeing days in Dublin more than doubles its target

Ballaghaderreen town Photo: Douglas O’Connor
Ballaghaderreen town Photo: Douglas O’Connor

Kathy Armstrong

An initiative to fund sightseeing days out for refugees in Dublin more than doubled its target this week.

More than 120 Syrian refugees, who are mainly fleeing violence, moved into the Abbeyfield Hotel building in Ballaghadreen, Co Roscommon earlier this year.

In less than 24 hours volunteers more than doubled their €500 target to bring 27 women and children to Dublin to enjoy a day of sightseeing.

The initiative is being co-ordinated by a group of individual volunteers with help from The City of Sanctuary, The Irish Red Cross, The Silk Road Cafe and Friends of the Centre.

One of the organisers, Yosef Phelan said on the GoFundMePage: “Since moving to Roscommon, this group of individuals haven't been given the opportunity to explore their new home in Ireland.

“We think that they deserve a chance to see all the amazing sights in Dublin City, and a day out in town is the least we could do. 

“For this trip to Dublin we are focusing on women and children who have found the move particularly challenging and we hope to have future day trips to give the rest of the group the chance to experience what Ireland has to offer.”

They explained that the money would be spent on a return bus for the group and sightseeing activities, while lunch will be provided for free by the Silk Road Cafe.

The initial target of €500 was more than doubled within 24 hours and to date the page has raised over €1300 in just three days.

Yosef said the organisers were blown away by the response and hopes they can repeat these trips.

He said: “Thank you all so much, the response has been amazing! In less than 24 hours we raised double the amount that our goal was set at - and is continuing to grow.

“This money will no doubt allow for future trips.

“We're excited for the day out and will post updates to let you know how it goes.”

For more information visit here.

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