Modeligo Community comes together in solidarity with Ukraine
The west Waterford community of Modeligo is preparing to welcome two Ukrainian families this month, as renovations on the area’s old parochial house near completion. The works have been driven by the newly formed Modeligo Community Development group, which is busy preparing to meet the new families.
Pat Fitzgerald, chair of the group said, “Our group came together in response to the refugee crisis with a view to seeing what we could do here in Modeligo. Five weeks later, thanks to the help of many people, we have a house ready to accommodate two families.”
Appeals were sent to the wider community on social media and via radio with the response from locals and tradespeople being “very positive” according to Kevin Hickey, project manager of the renovation. Users of Facebook have also been able to keep up with progress on the project with one post thanking the long list of fantastic trades who came and supported the project.
Ivan Grimes, Waterford City and County Council’s Director of Services for Housing commented that “while the humanitarian crisis has proved a challenge, the local authority is now in a position to move some families out of our 4 rest centres, including the two families who will benefit from this excellent community initiative in Modeligo – two women and six children – who were previously accommodated here in Waterford city.”
On Friday last, 13th May, Olena A, Vera, and Olena S along with their children, paid a visit to the parochial house to view the community efforts, and the area, for themselves. The three boys and a girl will start at the local national school, and two older girls will start secondary school at Blackwater Community School. The children were welcomed with open arms by the teachers and pupils and are very much looking forward to starting their new journey.
Sinéad Breathnach of Waterford City and County Council’s Response Team added, “The families are most grateful to the people of Waterford and Modeligo in particular, and are looking forward to their move to long term accommodation and integrating into the Modeligo community.”
A dedicated phone line and email address have been set up by the Council to receive pledges of accommodation for Ukrainian refugees at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 058 22059.