Brussels: C4C return after months away due to Covid
It was such a relief to return to Brussels after weeks away because of the Covid pandemic. We have been so worried about our friends there. Although refugees in the city come from many different countries, there is such a community spirit between them, and the hours we get to spend with them are always worth the drive.
This time we took around 300 jogging bottoms to distribute to men, women, and a just a few children. They were so happy to receive them as they were all in the skinny-fit style that they prefer. Many people are malnourished and physically smaller than British, so regular joggers can be quite baggy. And don’t think that because they are sleeping rough appearances are not important. Far from it. Dignity and pride are critical to self worth and well-being.
Because the Brussels distribution space is for the moment shared with other charities we are more limited in what we can do, but as Covid restrictions ease we hope to reintroduce more services as we have done in Calais.
As well as our jogger distribution, other charities were giving out hot food, drinks, and some snacks. There are a number of refugees in Brussels that have been effectively cut off from government support, and as usual it’s ones that do not claim asylum locally that are the worst affected. But that is why we need to be there to support them.
Now that quarantine restrictions have eased, we intend returning to Brussels every week for regular distributions of different essentials. The drive is long – almost three hours each way. But it is so worth it to watch people realise that, even after everything they have been through, there are still many people out there who care about them.