AS we approach the famous anniversary of a well-travelled Middle Eastern family being told they weren’t welcome at the inn , two Kildare women have come up with a lovely way to try and redress that attitude – by starting a fundraiser for gifts for the kids in Direct Provision in the county.
Alesi Horan of Castledermot and Niamh Crudden of Newbridge – both workers in the community development sector – have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase gift cards for the parents of the more than 50 children living in the Eyre Powell in Newbridge and the Hazel in Monasterevin.
“The families that live in these centres survive on very little and struggle to provide basic needs for their children. This simple fundraiser will mean the children in these centres can have a gift that they might like for Christmas this year,” said Alesi, now with Amnesty after finishing her Masters in Refugee Integration.
As an indicator, weekly disposable income in direct provision is less than €40 (€38.80) for adults and less than €30 (€29.80) for children.
“I had been wondering what I could do, and wanted to do something that was close to me. Knowing that the two centres were in Monasterevin and Newbridge , I thought maybe I could do something for the children in those centres,” she said.
After seeing a similar campaign I decided to just bite the bullet and contacted MASI [Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland] who then put me in touch with parents from the centres and Niamh. It all started from there pretty quickly, so we just got the fundraiser straight up,” Alesi explained.
“Through involvement in voluntary activities I have had the pleasure of meeting people living in direct provision and have heard first hand how difficult life can be for them, especially family life,” said Niamh Crudden.
“The Eyre Powell is on our main Street and I regularly see people from the centre in the town. This campaign is to give something extra to kids who really need some extra support but is also to show people in our local direct provision centres that they are part of a community that cares,” she concluded.
Show you do by getting on to the address below and giving as you can.