Ukrainian refugees are to be offered job and training assistance at a famous Dublin cafe, which is also putting ‘Red Cross buns’ on its menu to help the humanitarian effort.
ewley’s cafe in Grafton Street will sell the pastries in place of its usual hot cross variety until Easter, with all proceeds going to the Irish Red Cross.
Alongside fundraising, the café uses interpreters to provide a practical reception, counseling and employment training service to newcomers fleeing war in their home countries, in support of the Cross -Irish Red.
Donna O’Leary, Managing Director of Bewley’s, said: “We want the café to be a place where people can start their Irish journey, in the same way as so many before them.
“There is a real need for interpreters in the current crisis, and we have set up a team of two Ukrainian speakers at the café to help guide people who need an introduction to services or assistance with employment.
“It’s not just about Bewley’s – we also want to help connect people with other potential employers and services.”
She said Bewley is keen to work with people to help them find suitable employment, using her extensive network.
“Within Bewley’s we have positions available in our bakery and head office, from entry level positions to skills such as baristas, sales and engineering and we offer internationally recognized training.”
The interpreters Oksana Karbiwska and her daughter Kamilia are Ukrainian nationals living in Ireland and eager to help their compatriots.
Oksana, 42, from Lviv who left Ukraine aged 19, said: “We are here to help, reassure people and be a friendly face in a new country.
“We are delighted to be doing something practical as it has been difficult to be in Ireland and feel helpless while our fellow Ukrainians are suffering.”
The Bewley family came to Ireland as refugees and the business, founded on Quaker principles, has been helping newcomers to Ireland since 1840.
“We are following in the tradition of Victor Bewley who in 1956 contacted, employed and trained people who had fled Hungary on foot after the uprising – some of whom designed and prepared the coffee’s most iconic offerings,” Ms. O’Leary. .
The Irish Red Cross worked with Bewley’s to establish the practical needs on the ground.
Liam O’Dwyer, Secretary General of the Irish Red Cross, said: “It’s a good response to the current situation, partly fundraising and partly practical. There is a real need for displaced people to feel welcomed in their own language and to have access to advice and employment opportunities.
Bewley’s Red Cross buns will cost €4 each, or €20 for a box of six, with all proceeds going to the aid agency.