AFTER more than a year of finding safety and welcome in Limerick, Ukrainians who have fled the war in their home country are determined to show that support is not a one-way street.
For the Team Limerick Clean-up day on Good Friday (April 7), more than 230 people from the Ukrainian community put on high-viz and rubber gloves to help the spring clean effort.
Anna Mazeika, founder of the Ukrainian Campaign in Limerick, told the Limerick Post that the local Ukrainian community are “very keen to show how much they have been welcomed and made to feel part of the Limerick community.”
Anna, who is in regular contact with the Ukrainian community, which she helped to bring here during the first weeks of the war, says she had sent a call-out for volunteers for the clean-up day.
“I though we might get about 50 people but I was stunned. 235 signed up straight away. They were delighted to have an opportunity to give something back.”
And it isn’t the first time that the refugees in Limerick have put their own troubles aside to help others.
At Christmas, more than 230 Christmas Shoeboxes came from the community here, Mazeika says, filled with gifts and treats for children in struggling areas around the world.
“We couldn’t have asked them to get involved in anything this time last year. They had only just arrived and were so traumatised. But Limerick has been such a welcoming place and everyone wants them to be involved in the life of the place,” said Anna.
The Ukrainian volunteers split themselves onto three teams, working in Castleconnell and the city centre to move enormous amounts of rubbish and help spruce up the public areas.