Share what you have and care where you can: refugees are welcome here.

Anyone following the news in Europe knows that at the moment thousands and thousands of refugees are arriving in Europe, and something has to be done. To help the people in need, and to come up with sustainable solutions for the future. A challenge, yes, but not one we can close our eyes to.

Where politicians are having a hard time dealing with the current challenges, and waste time talking, it is heartwarming to see how ‘ordinary’ people have opened their hearts and their homes for the refugees arriving at our doorstep.

We blessed Europeans, do we realise how lucky we are? To be able to travel where ever we want to go? No fragile boats, no walking for miles and stumbling upon fences. An overcrowded train in an exotic place is a good story once we’re back home, that’s all……… lucky people we are.

Currently there are several  Dutch initiatives to help refugees: from apealing to politicians to filling little backpacks for kids, to sending boxes full of warm clothes to Greece, collecting welcome packages for refugees arriving in The Netherlands, and inviting refugees into our homes for a shared meal or a roof above their head.

parcels for refugees

It’s wonderful to see how welcoming people are and how ready to help. I hope this spirit lasts because after the bags and warm clothes have been distributed, and a welcoming meal has been shared, people have to start building a new life; a new home, a new language, a job…. and deal with the memory of all they’ve left behind.

While all this is going on, I wonder….as a Dutch mother in a safe country, how do you raise kids to be responsible worldcitizens, to care for those in need, to share what they have and to realize they are blessed and to be grateful for that?

I am trying to find that balance between making them aware but not scaring them. Making them care, but not to burden them too much. They are children after all. Caring and compassionate, and with a growing awareness that the world is bigger than their own town and the people who live in it.

leiden verwelkomt vluchtelingen

Because I want them to know, and to care and share, I recently tried to involve the children in a few projects. We filled a large box with wintercoats, warm socks and shirts, for the refugees arriving on Lesbos and sent it all the way to Greece. The girls also filled welcoming packages that will be distributed among refugees in the Netherlands.  In a few days, they will participate in a sponsor run, organised by school.

These are all small drops in the sea full of care that is needed, but they are their drops, drops of love and drops that will grow, as my daughters grow up………

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Are their any special initiatives in your area and how do you involve your kids?

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2 thoughts on “Share what you have and care where you can: refugees are welcome here.

  1. The question you face – how to involve the children, what to tell them in how much detail – is a really important one I think. My younger one really likes his (favourite) clothes, even when they are too small he hesitates to give them away. So I tried to explain to him that there are children who arrive in Europe who do not even have a warm coat, who think it is cold now (when we still think it is warm enough). And would it not be a nice idea that one of these children should be warm and happy in the coat he cannot wear any more anyway? He had to concede that would be nice… with a somewhat reluctant face that was quite cute. 😉

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    1. My youngest daughters is 7 and she moves back and forth beween wanting to gave away even her most precious toys and holding on to clothes she’s never really been fond of…it’s a learning process!

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