Since 2015 Thurles has been home to 12 Syrian refugee families who moved here as part of a State-funded resettlement project. The Syrian Refugee Crisis has tested families, whose lives have been disrupted and traumatised by years of conflict. But it has also challenged the town to meet the needs of these new members of our community.
To help welcome and relocate the refugees in Thurles, Thurles Lions Club, in conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul and Thurles Paris has worked to make these visitors welcome. Thurles Lions members participated in the national clothes collection to collect and sort clothes for Syrian refugees. Each week members of Thurles Lions Club participate in weekly card games with our Syrian friends. We have also brought Syrians hill walking in the area. Thurles Lions Club also sponsored a bus trip for the Syrians to the cliffs of Moher. All of this to help create new friendships and improve the English of our new residents. Our new residents not only have the challenge of getting to know the local townspeople but also getting to know each other as prior to being relocated to Thurles, they had not met each other before.
The Syrian community are very conscious of being accepted into the town and integrating with the local people. As one of the Syrians living in Thurles, Ayman Amouneh, stated “All of us want to work. There was no social system in Syrian. You work to survive. Every single man here will learn how to work, or find work….. We are all very thankful to have another chance at life….it feels like life has been on ‘pause’ for years. Now, it’s time to press ‘play’.”
Thurles Lions members participated in the national clothes collection to collect and sort clothes for Syrian refugees. Each week members of Thurles Lions Club participate in weekly card games with our Syrian friends.