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Bressie teams up with local charity in Dungarvan to help Afhgan children

Musician and mental health advocate Niall Breslin, known as Bressie, will be in Dungarvan on Saturday for a charity event.

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 by Bressie in the Dungarvan Soccer Club at 12.15pm Saturday.

The project came about when the charity linked up with educator and political activist Meena Asckry, who fled Afghanisatan when the Taliban took over, and has been in direct provision in Dungarvan since October 2021.

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Rhona McCord coordinates Unite Community activities:

โ€œMeena told us how her younger sister played in Afghanistanโ€™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.

The event on Saturday will see the donation of the ukeleles to four Afghan families now living in the town, who between them have ten children. There's an instrument for each child, and local music teacher David Power has volunteered to give them their first lesson.

โ€œWhile 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 Dungarvanโ€, Ms McCord said.

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