WE ACT: UKRAINIAN STORIES
We Act is collaborating with the Irish Red Cross to share the stories of Ukrainian refugees and how they're getting involved in their new communities across Ireland
After fleeing the war in Ukraine, Sofia and her daughter arrived in Blackwater, Wexford. Since then, she's joined the local Tidy Towns, helping them win the title of Best Kept Village in Ireland.
Example text from an Irish Times article, "Since Olena Shokhina's arrival to Portlaoise two weeks ago, she has received nothing but warmth and support. Now, in an attempt to give back to the community, she has decided to take part in the town's clean-up week.
Ms Shokhina left Kyiv with her three children on March 1st, travelling to Slovakia, before getting a bus to Prague and flying to Dublin on March 7th. The family lived in a hotel in Dublin for just over a month before being allocated temporary accommodation in Portlaoise.
"The worst stress was the first few days. I decided to leave Ukraine because of the kids and I heard Ireland is a great, welcoming country," she said."
Shortly after he arrived in Dublin, Ruslan received a refurbished bicycle from The Good Bike Project.
Now he volunteers three times a week to ensure other refugees can get around their new communities.
Example text from the Irish Times: "Another volunteer at the charity is Ukrainian refugee Ruslan, who hails from the eastern city of Odesa which is currently being subjected to heavy Russian artillery attacks.
Working at the project for a little over a year, Ruslan, a seaman by trade, “just wanted to try and help people” when he arrived in Ireland with his mother.
“I really like helping here because I remember back to my childhood when I never had the opportunity to be given a bike. I can remember eventually getting my first bike, I worked so hard for it… and then I developed a passion for them from that,” he says. “Bikes connect people, can help you make friends. I still have my best friends from childhood that I met when we were cycling around, so bikes can be very special.”