A Laois Direct Provision Centre resident has raised €1,000 for her local Saint Vincent de Paul.
Abíodun Oladele is a talented seamstress who used her skill to raise money for people in need during the Covid-19 lockdown.
She initially made masks for the other residents in the Commercial Inn who, along with her, are living in emergency accommodation in Rathdowney, seeking asylum in Ireland.
She then provided masks to the local ‘Meals on Wheels’ volunteers and their clients.
She subsequently offered to make more masks to raise money for the local Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Rathdowney in association with ‘Rathdowney Integration Network’ (RIN).
The project was funded by Laois County Council Covid-19 Emergency Fund 2020.
Supported by her friend Olga, Abíodun produced over 200 masks which were sold on her behalf to raise money for the Rathdowney branch of SVP.
When asked about her experience, Abíodun said: “I am a Nigerian, a computer science graduate (bachelor’s degree in computer science).
“Fashion is about uniqueness of which I have been fond since I was a little girl. Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new centre of gravity.
“I was bullied in my previous job, but fashion is the reason I stand tall because I enjoy doing it every day, creating designs, matching colours etc.
“Helping people makes me feel good and very happy. The community cares so much about the Commercial Inn residents, that making face masks and selling them was a little way of giving back to the community.”
A spokesperson for the Rathdowney Integration Network explained how proud they are of Abíodun.
They said: “We are extremely proud of Abíodun and Olga’s efforts to help others in need and we commend them for their kindness and desire to help those in need in our community.
“On behalf of RIN we wish Abíodun and Olga every success for the future and thank them for their tremendous efforts.”