Nasc, Migrant & Refugee Rights Centre
, an NGO based in Cork and Wicklow Syria Appeal
a community based volunteer group in Wicklow have partnered to develop a pilot community sponsorship project - to sponsor a refugee family from Syria to come live in Wicklow Town. Wicklow hosted Syrian Athletes in 2003 for the Special Olympics Games, and the connection with Syria grew from there.
We have been working together over the last two years to identify a family, support the family's arrival, and secure private rented accommodation and other supports that the family will need when they arrive. This community sponsorship project is the first of its kind in Ireland. We are hoping it will become a positive model for other communities across Ireland to develop similar projects to welcome refugees to their communities.
The Al Sulaimans are a family of nine, who escaped horrific conditions in Homs in 2013, and have been living as refugees in Lebanon. They are family members of a Syrian refugee resettled in Ireland two years ago through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme. In November 2016, she applied for family reunification for her parents and seven siblings, and in October 2017, her application was granted by the Minister for Justice under the 1996 Refugee Act.
We are now in the final stages of preparing for the family's arrival in March/April 2018 and we need your help! Wicklow Syria Appeal have been working incredibly hard over the past year to raise funds - they have taken on a semi-derelict house in need of refurbishment and have begun to make it liveable through essential structural and electrical repairs.
The community in Wicklow Town have been fantastic in their support and they have already raised over €12,000 locally. This money has gone directly into the refurbishment of the home. Another €5,000 is urgently needed to provide essential supports for the family when they initially arrive in late March/early April. This €5,000 will help fund the Al Sulaiman's immediate expenses in the first weeks including food, clothing, any emergency medical treatment, interpreters and translation costs, and travel costs to register with essential services and appointments.
We are asking for your help to support the Al Sulaiman family to rebuild their lives in Wicklow Town and become Ireland’s first community sponsored refugee family