Home Social group Ukrainians living in South Wexford are welcomed into the community

Ukrainians living in South Wexford are welcomed into the community

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MEMBERS of the Ukrainian community living at Cedar Lodge and Horse & Hound Hotel have learned about the area and the friendliness of strangers over the past few weeks through an initiative called The Connection Cafe.

he “café” is organized by Raheen FRC and supported by the MAED Fund (WWETB, Community Education). Its aim is to connect Ukrainian participants with native Irish people in order to improve their English skills. This is done in a completely informal and fun way – with a focus on well-being.

Earlier this month, women’s group Poulpeasty hosted a large group of Ukrainian women who learned all the names of the ingredients that go into an Irish stew.

“Every week they learn at least five to ten words. It is also important that Ukrainians have the opportunity to connect with the local population to promote inclusion and social cohesion,” said the cafe coordinator, Carmen Sanchez.

She said around 80 Ukrainians were staying at the Cedar Lodge Hotel near Carrigbyrne, including around 35 at the Horse & Hound currently.

“We got funding through the Education & Training Board to do the cafe. They like to do yoga on the beach with Irish people and learn about wellness.”
Participants spend three weeks on the program.

Ms Sanchez said the Poulpeasty women’s group had done a wonderful job hosting the Ukrainian group. “Ukrainian women sang their national anthem. They have beautiful voices and it’s a way for them to stay connected.

Ms Sanchez said the group will soon be involved in a fruit and vegetable growing initiative in community gardens in Clonroche, Adamstown and Raheen.

She said food is very important to the ladies and the idea is to help them feel at home as much as possible.

Most excursions end with a picnic or a meal. Clothing and toiletries were also provided for the women and their children.

As Ukraine’s National Day approaches on August 24, plans are already underway for a concert featuring Ukrainians staying at Cedar Lodge, Horse & Hound, Spring valley in Enniscorthy (where around 150 people reside) and at Wexford.

There are plans for a parade and a big celebration of Ukrainian culture, the location of which is yet to be determined.