All families belong together, and nobody should be separated from their loved ones because of where they are from. But today, thousands of refugees in Ireland are apart, and we desperately need your help to reunite them.

From Ukraine to Afghanistan and Syria, many refugees fled their homes and had to leave their families. 

Refugees are just like other people with hopes and dreams. Yet, they often cannot recover and plan for their future as they find themselves isolated and far from their loved ones in a new country.

Being apart from close family is a massive barrier to rebuilding a life in Ireland. Families belong together, and we must do all we can to make this happen.

Hopefully, our teams can support refugees to find their families and bring them back together, but we need help. Your gift will go directly towards reuniting refugees, including children, separated from their families by war and persecution.

Rawan's story below gives us a glimpse into what Christmas could be like for us without family. 

🎄RAWAN’S STORY

“Festive holidays in Syrian culture are more like conferences, except it is all family, fun and feasting,” said Rawan.

Extended families, young and old, would gather in her home—her father being the eldest had the cultural duty to host.

“Everyone is normally busy with their own thing but this time, everything has to wait so we can be together,” she said, reminiscing the past.

“My mother and I would drive around their neighbourhood checking out who had the best decorations.”

Rawan’s festive holidays now

At 18, she found herself having to spend the holiday alone, in Ireland’s Direct Provision system.

“At such a young age, everything felt different. I came here with pre-intermediate English so basically, I had no language. It was hard to integrate or make friends,” she said.

“Holidays and birthdays without family are not easy. For years I spent them alone, only connecting with my mother and twin brother over the phone. I struggled with mental health a lot.”

About 10 years in Ireland now, Rawan has made a lot of friends whom she is grateful to for their support during difficult times and for sharing such holidays with her.

“If they are not busy with or haven’t travelled to see their families, we do things like pyjama parties and sleep overs. Normally they’re, so I still spend some holidays alone.”

🎄Yearning for the small moments

She has been waiting to get reunification permission for 5 years.

“I dream of walking holding hands with her in the streets. She is a highly active person. Going to the gym, shopping, getting on and off the bus, eating her food. All these small moments, I really miss them,” a teary Rawan said.

“For our first holiday in Ireland, we will make lots of traditional Syrian food that I don’t really cook because it’s hard for me, particularly the Syrian kebbah. I will invite my friends who can’t wait to taste her food.”

🎄Her wishes for everyone this holiday

“Hope! Don’t ever lose it, no matter what you’re going through.”

Rawan is studying for a Diploma in Peer Support, works with a charity organisation which supports homeless people as a relief social care worker and volunteers at another as a peer advocate.

We need your support to bring families' like Rawan's together. 

There are a few ways you can help us bring families together this Christmas as an individual/family/friends/organisation: 

  1. Leave a donation via the Donate Button at the top,
  2. Create a fundraiser via the Fundraise Button at the top,
  3. Participate the jumper challenge hyperlinked here, 
  4. Honestly, it would be great if you can do both!

Don’t let refugees spend this Christmas alone.

Every little helps! Donate