A welcome party for asylum seekers new to Laois

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

A welcome party for asylum seekers new to Laois

Bolaji Adeyanju, chairman of Laois African Support Group

An evening of entertainment has been organised to help integrate asylum seekers that were placed in Portarlington earlier this year.

The Laois African Support Group has organised a welcome party for the asylum seekers who are temporarily living in the East End Hotel.

The Laois group has organised a special evening in Portarlington Community Centre, on October 25, with a invite to the local community to come and meet their new neighbours.

A similar event takes place in Abbeyleix on October 13. Read about it here. 

Bolaji Adeyanju is chair of the group and explained why they are holding the event.

“We are working with them to bring them into the community, to try and find ways for them to meet local people and talk to them. We are introducing them to the tidy towns group too and arranging conversation classes because a lot of them can't speak English.

“They will not be there forever but they feel they cannot come out of the centre, they feel nobody will talk to them. I can relate to how they feel, I was in the same situation when I first came to Ireland. We just want to help break the ice for them and help them get involved in the community,” he said.

Bolaji hopes that local groups and neighbours will come along.

“We wuld like as many poeple and families there as possible. We will have people there from different countries with their music, dance and poetry performances,. I hope it will be a lovely evening” he said.

The evening is on Friday October 25 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and it is a free family event.