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This Town In Roscommon Is Going All Out To Welcome Syrian Refugee Children

By Sarah

February 24, 2017 at 11:02am

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It was announced earlier this year that the people of Ballaghaderreen will welcome Syrian refugees to their community and it seems the local community have been going the extra mile to help them feel at home.

The Roscommon town will welcome 82 incoming Syrian refugees, 37 of which are children, and locals have set up a 'Welcome to Roscommon' group to make sure their arrival goes as smoothly as possible.

Plans so far have included free English classes and a library stocked with Arabic books for adults and children.

The community also felt that it was especially important for the children to feel welcome and safe, so they created a beautiful playroom in the hotel building where the refugees will be based.

The playroom was designed as "a space where 37 little Syrian children can learn how to be kids again... to let their little minds rest".

Locals have donated toys, books and money to fund the playroom and the finished result is spectacular, with messages of welcome written in both Irish and Syrian on the walls.

Work on an outdoor adventure garden is also underway, designed by GMIT students. 

There will be an outdoor play kitchen, hammocks made from willow, and tyres for the children to play on.

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Photo: Welcome to Roscommon Facebook

A 'Welcome Wall' has been created, with members of the public writing messages of welcome and hope that the refugees can read when they arrive.

The wall, which was designed by local artist Maria Fleming and her family, has "rays of hope" and a swallow in the design as "another symbol of hope and happiness" - according to the artist's website.

"We wish all the refuges a happy, safe and prosperous life in Ireland. We can’t wait to see the finished wall, filled with messages of welcome and love."

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The Ballaghaderreen Welcome Wall. Photo credit: The Greener Dream

More of the amazing things being done by the Welcome Roscommon group can be seen and supported on their Facebook page. 

Lovely to see people looking out for each other when it's needed most.

READ NEXT: The English Market In Cork Has New Rules For Visitors


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