In Millstreet, a small town in County Cork, Ireland, the Infant Jesus Sisters participate in the welcoming of more than three hundred Ukrainians taking refuge in a temporary shelter, in the Green Glens Arena. After their arrival in April, English classes were immediately introduced by the Adult Education Organisers. Five months later many have been absorbed into the local work force, mostly as factory workers, on a three shift rota, though the majority have 3rd level education. Some, who have been welcomed by host families, have joined the hospitality sector. Others continue to study and work on-line with Companies and 3rd level Institutes in Ukraine that have still managed to escape the worst of the violence. The children and teenagers are helped to integrate in local schools, through the efforts of Ukrainian teachers who are proficient in English and employed by the Department of Education.
In conversation , the adults like to recall happier times, when, in June 1996 Russian, USA and Ukrainian defence ministers planted sunflowers near one of Ukraine’s missile bases to celebrate the abandonment of nuclear weapons. More than 25 years later, Russia is at war with Ukraine. ... The hearts of the Ukrainians in Millstreet overflow with gratitude for the hospitality and support they are receiving.