Swapping pencil and textbook for plaster and paintbrush!

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Scouts and Guides contributing to refugee support activities in their local communities in Europe (18): a story from Eupen, Belgium:

“Early in September the FEDASIL (the Belgian federal agency for the welcome of asylum seekers) announced that a new local refugee welcome centre would be opened at the Elsenborn Army Camp in the German Community in eastern Belgium. And only a few days later the agency launched a call for volunteers to help prepare and run the centre.

When the Pioneer Scouts (the equivalent of Explorer or Venture Scouts in other association) of the St Martin Scout Group in Eupen (members of Les Scouts, one of the National Scout and Guide Associations in Belgium) heard about this, they quickly agreed that they would offer their skills and time: they volunteered to renovate one of the larger rooms at the refugee centre and to transform it into an indoor playground!

Over several days Scouts came together, swapped their Scout shirt for a workman’s outfit and became active: taking out old furniture, repairing and repainting walls, floor and ceiling, cleaning windows, and refitting the room with new carpets and furniture. In the coming days, a selection of games and toys collected from friends and relations will be added to those already available.

And soon everything will be ready to welcome children and young people and allow them to leave behind boredom: laughter and excitement will fill a previously abandoned room of the FEDASIL’s Elsenborn Refugee Centre!”

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