By Yvonne Judge
Olga Khoroshevska is the manager of the new Ukrainian Community Centre on Upper Rathmines Road.
She and other staff are busy renovating the new premises in preparation for the resumption of English classes, yoga, dance, chess and childrens playgroups.
And Olga needs a little help.
“We would love if some local teachers could help us in a voluntary way,” she says.
“They might be retired but could teach beginners English for one or two hours a week.
“Integration is the key, we need to help more Ukrainians in Ireland integrate with local communities through work and education and to do that they need to learn English.
“We are very grateful for all the toys and clothes and we have plenty thank goodness, but for now, English teaching is our priority” says Olga.
“We are appealing to local Irish people who have teaching experience to help us with beginners English classes in our new centre.
“We are also looking for more Dublin based Ukrainian volunteers as some of our team have now moved to other parts of Ireland”.
The five room centre is a place for people of all ages and children to visit, attend classes, meet and chat.
The Ukrainian community centre was previously based in Vicar Street Dublin 8 in a warehouse loaned to them by Harry Crosbie.
“That centre was vital for us to get our work off the ground with our new arrivals” explains Olga.
“We are so grateful to Harry Crosbie for setting us up and supporting us but as winter came it was time to move on. We are hoping to resume our English classes as soon as possible, they are incredibly important”.
They already have three ‘speaking clubs’ up and running which are excellent for those with some basic English to improve through chatting and practise.
“The chat cubs are really helpful, we want to help people to integrate into Irish society”.
Olga and her staff are keen to resume the dance classes, the choir, yoga, art, chess and of course the tea coffee and chat area.
They are also hoping to develop a picnic and garden area in the grounds, and even a ‘Grow It Yourself’ vegetable patch.
“We would love some picnic tables and maybe we can build some raised beds, it would be very cool to grow our own vegetables in the spring with the children here”, says Olga.
The Ukrainian Community Centre has received many donations, for which they are hugely thankful, but for now, they say they have enough toys and clothes.