MAASTRICHT. Students from the Refugee Project helped to receive new refugees in the Netherlands last week. On 13 October, the Maastricht city council decided to accept hundreds of additional asylum seekers in the Limmel refugee centre. “I received a phone call asking if there were volunteers from the Refugee Project who’d be willing to help out”, says Arie de Fijter, student pastor at The Innbetween, where the project was launched. “And so ten students went to Limmel on Thursday to help out.”
The students welcomed the refugees on arrival, served them food and helped them to register. “And not only that: they had a warm word for everyone”, says Lilianne Geraerds from the city council, who coordinates the volunteers at the Limmel centre. “Students are very internationally oriented, engaged and easygoing.” After three days, the refugees left Maastricht in order to be housed somewhere else more permanently.
The Refugee Project is not the only student initiative that has been set up to assist refugees. For instance, a number of UCM students are currently on their way to the border of Hungary, Serbia and Croatia to report on the situation there and find out where help is needed. The International Federation of Medical Students Associations will hold an Open Mic Night on 19 November, the proceeds of which will go towards the cause. And law students are working on setting up a Legal Aid Clinic for refugees.