Students go on field trip with refugee children

Students go on field trip with refugee children

Trip to zoo on initiative of Maastricht student associations

24-05-2023 · News

Surprised looks from commuters at Maastricht Station this Wednesday morning. 'Special ticket required,' reads the sign next to the train bound for Rotterdam Central. It is reserved for a group of about 150 refugees plus some 20 members of the student associations Tragos, Koko and Circumflex. Other passengers are directed to another platform for the regular train.

On initiative of the student associations, the group is visiting the Rotterdam zoo Diergaarde Blijdorp today. From Rotterdam station, they will travel there by vintage tram. But first the intercity will stop in the Limburg towns of Beek and Echt, where a number of refugee families will also board. In total, there are about a 100 children and 50 parents, all staying in the South Limburg region. They are from Ukraine, but also numerous other countries. The outing is sponsored by the NS (Dutch Railways), as part of the 'Spoorwensdagen' in which the transport company 'makes wishes come true'. 

It was Tragos that submitted this 'wish' to the NS, reveals chairman Thijmen Vermeer. "We try to get involved in charities in the area every year. Previously, these included the Ronald McDonald House and Stichting Matchis, which focuses on stem cell donation. Given the war in Ukraine, this time we chose to organise a fun activity for refugee children. The NS then came up with the idea of going to Blijdorp." Koko and Circumflex, which together with Tragos form the Maastrichtse Kamer van Verenigingen, also turned out to be interested and helped the NS with the organisation. Members of the three associations will travel with them today to accompany the refugee children at the zoo. "As well as to entertain them on the train."

Photo: Ellen Oosterhof

Tags: tragos,koko,circumflex,refugee,children,ns,train,student associations,students,instagram

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