Living rough in Brussels
Going to meet refugees in Brussels is going through the city, turning a corner and seeing a park. A park which could be in any city, with mums going for a walk with their babies, people running and food dealers on their bikes. But in this park there are also 300 plus people waiting for a new (and hopefully better) life; sleeping without tents and with nothing but what they wear. It could be a park in your city or in mine, but no, it is in Brussels, it is km, maybe metres, from the people who are deciding their future.
When we arrive they are waiting for us, to take a hoodie, some food, socks, shower gel and a sim card. We, the volunteers, have to give them some credit for these sim cards and they come to us with mobile phones that are the most precious thing they own. That’s because they just arrived here from their country that is in war. The point is they are the lucky ones, they escaped.
They all need credit in their phones to call their families and see if they are safe. Or even still alive. They also know that they are going to need these old hoodies and socks because their trip is not going to end any time soon. And when we have to leave the place, when we don’t have more time (because it is never enough) and you have to say to them that you will try to come another day they tell you “maybe I won’t be here” all that I can think is “I’ll pray for it”.