Laois Integration Network team with Laois Chamber CEO Bernie Everard to families in direct provision are looked after this Christmas
The service in Laois that supports people from around the world who have made their home in Laois is using funds to help local business to ensure children receive gifts this Christmas.
Each year the Laois Integration Network (LIN) hosts a Christmas Parry for Children living in Direct Provision as well as other migrants in the local community, but this year it is not possible due to Covid-19.
The service believes that what happens at the local level is critical to successful integration and brings about lasting change. With this in mind, the LIN has teamed up with Laois Chamber.
"We know local businesses have had a very challenging year so we wanted to support them and do our bit so we made a decision to purchase a Laois Gift Card for each of the children in Direct Provision. This donation was made possible with the support of The Department of Justice & Equality Integration funds; ClÚid Housing and a further generous donation via the St. Stephens Green Trust from a private family fund, the Lakeside Fund. more below picture.
"We want to thank all the funders this year - we know a Gift Card will not replace meeting Santa in person but we hope it will bring a bit of happiness to children and families in Direct Provision at this difficult time. We hope we will have a bigger and better Christmas party in 2021," said the network.
The LIN also paid tribute to a local woman who has gone the extra mile.
"We also want to thank one local resident Caroline Griffin, who wanted to reach out to children in Direct Provision and set up a Go Fund Me Page to purchase selection boxes for each child in Direct Provision in Co. Laois. This is such a lovely gesture of kindness to ensure that each child in our county is included and welcomed during this difficult time," said the LIS.
The network is made up of local voluntary, community and statutory organisations as well as individuals from Irish and migrant and diverse faith communities throughout Laois.
It takes an interagency and collective approach which promotes integration, celebrates diversity and which challenges racism and discrimination in all forms.
It says it aims to achieve a more integrated and balanced society throughout Laois whereby migrants, asylum seekers and refugees feel equal and valued members of the local community and have equal access to local mainstream services including training and education, voluntary, employment and youth services.
It also says that it wants to break down barriers, misconceptions and misunderstandings of different cultures.
For further information please contact Rosey Kunene or Karen McHugh by email at email@example.com or by phone on 087 977 5080
More about the LIN below picture
The following are the current members of LIN
Laois County Council
Laois & Offaly ETB
Clúid Housing Association
Rahman House – Portlaoise Mosque
Laois Youth Work
Laois Library Service
Laois Sports Partnership
Laois Africa Support Group
Voice of Migrants Ireland (VOMI)
Portlaoise Syrian Community rep
Comhaltas Portlaoise Branch
Laois Lithuanian Community rep
Laois Polish Community rep
Presentation Sisters rep
The Mens Shed
Members from Rathdowney/Mountmellick communities
Other individuals from local diverse communities with an interest in Integration
LIN Office Holders are as follows:
Rosey Kunene and Karen Mc Hugh – Joint Chairs
Salena Gace and Julie Scully – Joint Secretaries
Ruta Maciuliene and Kasjana Jatkowska – Joint Treasurers
PRO Duties to be undertaken by the Chairpersons.