“A movement of volunteers serving cities in practical ways & inspiring people to be givers in this world. We believe that many people doing small things together can make a big difference in our world.”
On Saturday, October 3, we went to Brussels to attend Focus Day with the “Serve the City” organization for the first time. Serve The City is an organization that helps people see more clearly the needs of people in this world that are homeless, asylum seekers, disabled, elderly, children in needs, victims of abuse, and many more who need a helping hand. This Focus Day was about helping the refugees, since that is a big problem right now, even in Brussels. In the last two weeks, over 1000 asylum seekers (mostly Syrians, Iraqis, and Eritreans), have arrived in Belgium in need of refuge.
When we first heard about Serve the City, we were really excited because we knew that we would be helping people that are less fortunate than us. We did not really know what to expect, we just knew that it would be fun and we would get to help the refugees. When we came, we first thought that we would meet all the refugees at the park, where they had camped for a few days, just outside the Belgian asylum registration office. But we heard from our teachers that they relocated, so we had to change our plans and be prepared on what there was to come for us. The thought that came into our minds was fear, not knowing what to expect. We did not know where we were going and what we were going to do with the refugees but we knew for sure that we were willing to do anything, whether it is a small or big gesture, we knew our goal was to help in any way as possible. We then went to a place where the refugees had stayed before in tents. There were lots of tents and they were all dirty from the rain because they’ve been used by the refugees when they stayed in the park. We were there to help clean and fold the tents, so that the next group of refugees could use them if they needed to. This is what we had time for, and it helped them tremendously.
Serve The city was a wonderful experience, and we were all so privileged that St. John’s could offer such a wonderful programme for us to join. This was such an eye opener for us and also made us learn and take a moment to actually look around the world we are living in and see that not everyone in this world is fortunate. No matter if it’s a big or small act that we are doing, it could greatly impact and change someone’s life. We felt like we had achieved something great, and an act of kindness really made us feel happy in our hearts. It would not have been possible without Serve the City and our wonderful teachers, Madame Froidcoeur and Mr. Ambrozy. We can’t wait to come next time and volunteer again!
By Anna and Madeline, Grade 9 students