How to support refugees in Brussels
As you are certainly aware by now, the war in Syria and the Middle East, displaced millions of people, with hundred thousands refugees across Europe. If you are based in Brussels, you are most probably aware of the recent arrival of many refugees from these countries, who running away from the war ended their travel in this city.
Volunteers, Red Cross, Doctors without border and many organizations and individuals are already supporting the refugees within asylum centres across Belgium.
Out of the Box team, got hands on and visited the Maximillien hall next to Gare du Nord station, where many volunteers provide support, activities, aid and classes for refugees. As we’ve been contacted by many that want to help in contact with the coordinators of donations and volunteers we are providing some tips on how to support the refugees in Brussels:
- Check what’s needed? Don’t just take stuff out of your closet, just because you are not wearing them anymore. You can always stop by the Maximillien hall where donations are taken and ask what is needed. Also check the platform we can help, which is an interactive website where you can also get an information about the help needed, as well as post what you can donate or how you can volunteer.
- Join the citizens’ platform: Since a month ago citizens and activists started a platform for coordination of activities and initiatives of solidarity with the refugees and the unregistered migrants in Brussels. Their work is organised in thematic groups and you can help in many possible ways: from providing logistic support and on ground volunteering (teaching, animation activities) up to advocacy work and fundraising. Get an up to date information about the ways you can help and support you can provide by visiting their website and facebook page
- Host a refugee: Is you have a spare room or bed, can be a warm welcoming for a person fleeing war, and a great learning opportunity for you. By visiting the www.bxlrefugees.be you can find out more information about hosting.
- Join the social network support groups: To be able to follow closely, try to join some of the online communities that are coordinating people that want to donate or volunteer. Facebook groups such as ‘Help the refugee in Brussels’ , ‘Community support for refugees in Belgium’ and Civic Platform for Support of Refugees can help you get a better orientation.
SPREAD THE WORD! Finally you can also help by spreading a positive word, raising awareness to open people’s hearts in accepting the refugees, and combat the spread of xenophobia.