Crafting Hands of Friendship

Thanks to Rev Karen Duignan, Easkey & Kilglass Parishes and Parishioner, Catherine Walsh for sharing this story of friendship with us:-

In recent months, Enniscrone, like villages, towns and cities the length and breadth of Ireland, has had the opportunity to extend a welcome to Ukrainians in need of a safe harbour from a nightmare that we (thank God) cannot begin to comprehend.

Despite the challenge presented by a language barrier, extending the hand of friendship to our Ukrainian friends has brought mutual benefits. The local community has reached out in many ways, from initially providing warm clothing or finding a pushchair for a small child to helping children to assimilate into various summer camps and sports clubs. Volunteers have enabled the refugees to engage in specially organised activities such as English conversation, yoga and a craft group, while many have also enrolled in the Adult Education Courses in the local secondary school, all of which serve to give focus and structure to their lives in an alien environment.

In particular, the craft group has created a relaxed social space outside their accommodation setting and has resulted in combining craft, chat and song – it has transpired that the majority love to sing! Some of these ladies are regular attendees at our Sunday services in Kilglass and Easkey and have contributed to both Harvest services as a Ukrainian Choir.

The craft group has been aided by a grant from the Benefact Trust which has allowed for the purchase of a supplies including a sewing machine, while the local Family Resource Centre has provided free space and funded some supplies, all other materials having been donated.

We, as a nation, cannot undo the unspeakable atrocities that have brought these people into our midst but we can continue to show them that we care.

Catherine Walsh