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Syrian family arrive just in time for Christmas

January 3rd, 2020 11:55 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The family arrived just in time for Christmas.

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LESS than a year since setting up, a Kinsale-based community sponsorship project has welcomed a Syrian refugee family to the town.

A welcoming committee from ‘Road to Kinsale’ travelled to Dublin Airport on Monday December 22nd to meet and greet the family who will make Kinsale their new home.

A spokesperson for Road to Kinsale told The Southern Star that the family came from a refugee camp in Lebanon and were looking forward to settling into their new community.

‘The family have moved into a house here in Kinsale and this initiative will be driven by themselves as they seek to settle in the town and become part of the community here and gain employment,’ they said.

‘It’s testament to the support of the Kinsale community that we have done it so fast considering we only held our initial meetings back in April. It’s also down to individuals and businesses who have all given their expertise in making this possible.’

The group’s ‘grass roots initiative’ has also been supported by the Kinsale Lions Club and the community gardaí and Road to Kinsale spent the past few months fundraising to welcome the family to Kinsale, including hosting a summer féte in Sáile Community Centre at the end of the summer.

Road to Kinsale was set up to offer a helping hand to those displaced from the Syrian civil war with the aim of bringing a family into the town so they can become integrated into Kinsale’s vibrant community.

This programme was developed by the Irish government in co-operation with the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GSRI), the Irish Red Cross, NASC, Irish Refugee Council and the UNHCR.

Eligibility for the programme required that the group source and secure a local private house for a minimum of 24 months and that a arrival and settlement plan is prepared and executed and that ongoing support for 24 months is provided.

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