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Ukrainian children learn the ropes!

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More than 15 Ukrainian children from the Innisfallen Hotel have joined the local Killarney Scout Group.

Natalya Krasnenkova

SKILLS: Sean Sweeney the Killarney Scout Group leader showing some the Ukrainian children scouting skills.

SCOUTS: Over 15 Ukrainian children from the Innisfallen Hotel have joined the local Killarney Scout Group.

Every Wednesday, Ukrainian children walk to the nearest school in Fossa to spend time with Scouts. The children say that they really like to put up tents, make wooden furniture from boards, and learn to knit knots from ropes. Very soon the children will go to camp with local Scouts. The Killarney Advertiser asked Sean Sweeney, the Killarney Scout Group leader, about working with Ukrainian children.

Why did the scouts from Fossa invite Ukrainian children to join the movement?

The Fossa group were beginning to make plans to have the Ukrainian children join when Killarney Scout Group said they had arranged an evening's activities at the hotel. We discussed it among the leaders in both groups and felt it would be easier for them to access scouting in Fossa as they could walk to and from meetings. So after a nice evening's activities we registered the Ukrainian children interested in scouting with the group. The ethos of the group is inclusion and an opportunity for all children to enjoy the activities scouting has to offer regardless of background. We also felt that as part of our Scout law a Scout is helpful and considerate of others and that it was important that we be as helpful as possible to the Ukrainian families who have come to live in our parish.

What are your first impressions of communicating with children from Ukraine?

No matter where in the world they come from children are children and are always quick to learn and are able to adapt to situations. While there is a language barrier there to be overcome it should not prevent a young person getting involved and having fun. The Ukrainian children were quick to get involved and like our own Scouts they are enthusiastic and appear to be enjoying what they are learning so far.

How do you overcome language barriers?

When we need to teach some technical items like pitching tents or building tables we find the scouting resources online and using an online translator we create a Ukrainian version of the resources. For other things we use hand signals and it is amazing how much a frown or smile can communicate. Some of the young people have enough English to be of help to us also in overcoming the language barrier. When working with young people, a little patience and some good humour go a long way.

What are the plans for spring and summer for Scouts and how Ukrainian children will be integrated into them?

In May we will have our county Scout camp locally. This is where Scouts from all over Kerry meet over a weekend to camp, learn skills and have fun together. We hope the Ukrainian children will participate as it is always a highlight of our scouting year. As the evenings get longer we will spend more time outdoors learning scouting skills and will have some day hikes and hope to have a group camp of our own in late June or early July.

Tell us about your movement: ideology, history of Fossa, how many local children join the Scout movement?

Fossa 8th Kerry was established in September 1982 with just a Scout section for boys aged 11-15. Two years later a Cub Scout section was founded and a year later a Venture Scout section was added. Finally in 2018 Beaver Scouts were started in the group. Since the pandemic we have reopened our Scout and Venture Scout sections but are currently looking for volunteers to help us reopen the younger sections in September. Anyone interested in helping us please feel free to contact us at fossascouts@gmail.com.

Over its history we have had many generous people give of their time as leaders in the group to ensure that we kept going and kept providing the fun of scouting to about 3,000 young people and counting. Fossa 8th Kerry is part of the national association called Scouting Ireland. Scouting Ireland's goal is to encourage the social, physical, intellectual, character, emotional and spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and, as responsible citizens, to improve society. As part of Scouting Ireland we have taken part in Provincial, National and International camps and have enjoyed the company of many international Scouts over the years.

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Leona named PRO of the year

By Sean Moriarty She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts. The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named […]

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By Sean Moriarty

She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts.

The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named Leona as its Public Relations Officer of the Year at an awards ceremony at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Friday night last.

Leona has been the PRO for Kerry GAA for the last five years but will have to step down this year due to County Board rules.

“I was speechless, it was wonderful to get PRO of the Year but I am only as good as the team around me and this success is attributed to the hard work of the entire PR team at Kerry GAA,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

As well as her busy schedule managing the media affairs for the Kerry County Board, Leona is also principal at Cullina National School in Beaufort.

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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

By Natalya Krasnenkova On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”. That is why Ukrainians who […]

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”.

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine’s win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

“After my country’s victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn’t believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us,” Iryna Melnychuk said.

“Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end – 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!” – the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners ‘Stefania’.

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