Ukranian refugees celebrating and focusing on better times
The association Refugees which have organized the reception of Ukranian refugees in Iceland had a big party on Thursday when they left the former location at Guðrúnartún to go to a bigger space in Aflagrandi. Kristinn Magnússon
"I am so grateful to everybody who has given us a helping hand here in Guðrúnartún . We are saying goodbye and want to thank the staff of Pipar Advertisement Agency for housing the operation for the last three months," said Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, who is a doctor and the director of the association Refugees which have been organizing the reception of refugees from Ukraine.
Relocating to a bigger space in Aflagrandi
Thursday was the last day the Ukranian refugees can come to Guðrúnartún to get food and assistance since the Russian army invaded their country on February 24 th . The reception hub is relocating to a bigger venue in Aflagrandi 40 , in the western part of Reykjavík where the city has provided a better suited space for the operation.
"This is a bigger space than Guðrúnartún and can accommodate bigger parties. We are outsourcing all food and necessities to Neskirkja where refugees from Ukraine can go and get what they need for free. We already have the teaching classes at Neskirkja, but the Family Centre is still in Hátún 2 ," says Sigurðsson.
Precious moments together
People were really enjoying their time together on Thursday evening in Guðrúnartún. Earlier in the day the children had been invited to the Reykjavik Park and Zoo by the charity Einhorn Collaborative , which has provided a lot of the housing for the Ukranian refugees according to Sigurðsson.
After a fun day at the Reykjavik Park and Zoo there was a pizza and ice cream party at Guðrúnartún and the magician Bjarni entertained the guests. Sigurðsson says that gratitude is the biggest feeling of everybody working in the association Refugees. He says that getting the refugees employment and the time spent with the refugees has been precious.
"This place has been the most sought after resource for the refugees in Iceland. Now, when the horrors of the war have been going on for three months, it is good to have a little time out and celebrate the summer and what we have accomplished in this short time."