We recently visited and donated supplies to a local school in The Hague in which refugees are currently being housed and refugee children are being taught. The building was previously used as the department of social affairs, but is now accommodating refugees amidst the current global refugee crisis.
Run by the city council and a myriad of volunteers, the school is situated in the former library of the building. With around 50-100 children currently living and attending school here, many locals have donated items such as school bags and stationary, as well as food and clothing. EQ’s Linda Carrette and Reese Lee visited the school and brought learning materials, storage boxes, stationary, food and other special items to celebrate the traditional Dutch Sinterklaas holiday festivities.
Following a morning of celebrating Sinterklaas by singing songs and eating “pepernoten”, the children were able to play indoors or outside, however the cold weather is something that they are not yet accustomed to. Lessons are conducted in small groups with children of similar ages and a whole range of subjects is being taught. The emphasis lies on teaching the children Dutch so that they can start their integration process well. The children currently in this building will be moved to a different location once they move through the process of becoming asylum seekers, however the supplies donated by us and others will be used by future refugee children to come.
This is the first welcome school in the whole of the Netherlands, but since its start around three weeks ago, many councils have followed this example and there are now schools being set-up across the country. We’re glad to be able to give towards the “welcome school” initiative and will be sure to return with more supplies in the future.