Thursday 17 October 2019

Wicklow Syria Appeal plans public meeting

Links to country forged during 2003 Special Olympics games

Myles Buchanan

Wicklow Syria Appeal will host a public meeting on Wednesday, November 8, at 8pm in the Grand Hotel.

Wicklow Syria Appeal is a volunteer group which was set up in honour of the 2003 Syrian Special Olympics team's twinning with Wicklow town. In 2003, eight Syrian Athletes and their four coaches used the town as their base during the Special Olympics held in Ireland that year.

Due to the war in Syria, the Wicklow community has lost contact with their Syrian friends and have no information on their whereabouts.

Explaining the thinking behind the formation of the group, Chairman Dermot Costello said: 'Wicklow Syria Appeal wish to engage with the wider community of Wicklow around what we can do to help Syrian refugees coming to Ireland. We have partnered with Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre, a migrant and refugee rights charity, to develop an exciting and unique community project that can make a positive difference to the lives of those affected by war in Syria though community action, education and fundraising.'

Nasc is a non-governmental organisation working for an integrated society based on the principles of human rights, social justice and equality.

'Throughout 2016 and 2017, Wicklow Syria Appeal ran education programmes in local schools, supported Transition Year projects and fundraised to support NGO organisations working in Syria,' added Mr Costello.

'Now, Wicklow Syria Appeal volunteers have decided to focus on what we, the Wicklow community, could do to help the Syrian refugees coming to Ireland, and we have partnered with Nasc to develop a really innovative community project to support Syrian refugees.'

Wicklow Syria Appeal is a dedicated group of volunteers across the Wicklow business, education and religious communities who want to make a positive difference to the lives of Syrian families. The public meeting on Wednesday, November 8, is open to all.

'It is only with community involvement and feedback that Wicklow Syria Appeal can truly become a community project,' said Mr Costello.

Wicklow People