Okay. Let’s go to the park and play!

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (20): a story from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands

“Okay. Let’s go to the park and play!” – that’s what Scouts from Scouting Brownsea ’66 in Rotterdam (members of Scouting Nederland) decided this Friday night after having been contacted by volunteers of the Rotterdam Red Cross who help looking after some 250 newly arrived refugees at the local refugee welcome centre opened at the Schuttersveld Sport Centre in Rotterdam.

So, yesterday, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, a group of Scouts welcomed a large group of children and young people from the refugee welcome centre and spent the rest of the day playing games in the park and doing paperwork at the Scout Hut.

After some initial hesitation the children and young people quickly found their smiles again and thoroughly enjoyed this moment of fun. It was quite obvious that they were able – for some time at least – to forget the hardship of their long and tiresome journey that had brought them to Rotterdam.

Like any other group of children at an afternoon party in a park, they agreed to pose for a “family photo” with their new friends from the Scout Group. And to everybody’s surprise Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Lord Mayor of Rotterdam, joined them for this picture and then for another funny game!

If you are involved in a similar refugee support activity in your local community, let us know and we will share it, too!