When: Saturday 2 July at 12.15 pm
Where: Dungarvan United Soccer Club, 1 Kilrush Park, Dungarvan
What: Niall Breslin will launch a music education project for refugee children being organised by Unite Community with the support of Surprise, Surprise
Unite Community, the community outreach arm of trade union Unite, has teamed up with local Dungarvan charity Surprise, Surprise to organise music lessons for Aghan refugee children living in the town. Unite’s Education branch has donated ten ukuleles for the project, which will be launched on Saturday by musician and former GAA and rugby player Niall Breslin.
Rhona McCord coordinates Unite Community activities in the Republic and explained the background to the project:
“Unite Community has links with educator and political activist Meena Asckry, who like many progressive women has had to flee Afghanistan on foot of the Taliban takeover and has been living in a Direct Provision hub in Dungarvan since October 2021.
“Meena told us how her younger sister played in Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra until the orchestra was disbanded and all their instruments destroyed by the Taliban. That powerful story gave us the idea of using music as a bridge between our communities as well as a way of helping to heal the trauma experienced by refugees.
“Unite Community and Dungarvan group Surprise, Surprise are holding a joint event on Saturday with the four Afghan families now living in the town, who between them have ten children. Unite’s Education Branch has donated ukuleles for each of the children, and local music teacher David Power has volunteered to give them their first lesson.
“While we appreciate that nothing can ameliorate what these families have gone through, we hope that this project will offer a small sign of solidarity and welcome to the Afghan refugee community in Dungarvan”, Ms McCord said.