Thursday, May 7, 2015

9. What we can do to help refugees now



Abstract:

By treating refugees humanely, we are showing our children by our example that we are all brothers ans sisters in the family of mankind and have a responsibility to treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves.  We all have a worth and we can all learn from each other.  By including refugees in our communities, all gain a sense of thankfulness. We become more aware and grow to appreciate more our own good fortune to be able to help, instead of to rely on help. We realize that giving is much more rewarding than  getting.  Refugees in our communities allows us to live a life of love, compassion and tolerance rather than just to preach it. 

The community of Riggisberg, in the Kanton of Bern, Switzerland has offered the use of its emergency community shelter to house 150 refugees.  Riggisberg has become a very positive example; not only for all Swiss, but also for everyone in this world. The setting of this example is especially important for young people who will one day be entrusted to change this world.  

Giving, when freely done from the heart is much more rewarding than receiving. It makes givers aware of their freedom, and it makes them be thankful for their good fortune to be able to give. It is very self-satisfying to be helpful, especially when it is appreciated.  

Many residents of Riggisberg as well as the local church have volunteered to help this project. Many are very proud of their community and very grateful for the good and wise leadership it has.

There is a home page that documents all the work that is done by the volunteers.


Some of the regular weekly activities that volunteer organize are:
  • A weekly 2 hour social gathering of those refugees who chose to come in a coffe house setting where they can practice their German with the volunteers who bring cakes and serve coffee.  About 30%-50% of the refugees attend. 
  • German lessons 
  • Sewing and knitting workshops 
  • Volleyball and soccer 
  • Painting workshops 
  • Children play group
  •  Dance for children
  • Dance aerobics for ladies
Other activities that have been offered and well received:
  • Bicycling 
  • Vacation camps for children 
  • Cultivating a vegetable garden

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