Many of you will have heard the recent news of the agreement between the Federal Government, Sant’Egidio and all the Recognised Religions in Belgium (Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim) to collaborate to welcome 150 extra Syrian refugees to Belgium between Christmas 2017 and Christmas 2018- known as the ‘Couloir Humanitaire’ programme. We are really pleased that the Anglican churches in Belgium have been able to collectively contribute to this important project, which has been full heartedly supported by Bishop Robert. What we have jointly committed to with the other Anglican parishes in Belgium is to welcome one Syrian family of 4 people for a maximum of 12 months. The HTB Mission Committee has already allocated 5000 Euros from 2017 & 2018 to contribute towards the cost of hosting this family, but there is a need for additional funding to be secured. The project needs an extra commitment of 3000 Euros to ensure we have enough budget to cover the costs for a family for a year. If you would like to support this initiative, please make a payment to the Anglican Council for Belgium bank account: BE38 3101 1483 6972 putting ‘Couloir Humanitaire’ in communication. If you would like to know more about the project, or think you could offer practical support or expertise to the refugee family on their arrival, please contact Jack McDonald (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In the coming weeks, the Anglican churches in Belgium will also be asked to consider if we can assist with the following:
- If any parish has accommodationavailable (or knows how to find suitable accommodation) for a family of two adults and two children.
- If any parish has expertise in stewarding the legal side of negotiating the asylum processfor refugees.
- If any parish has access to furniturewith which to furnish accommodation.
- If any parish has access to clean clothingto give to our family.
- If any parish has suitable teachers of French or Dutch.
- If any parish has access to a friendly general doctor.
- If any parish has any further ideasabout how we can help our family to integrate into Belgium when they arrive.
- If anyone in the parish would be willing to serve on a small committee to oversee the Anglican response to the Couloir Humanitaire.
Again, please contact Jack McDonald (email@example.com) if you can offer any assistance on any of the above requests.
We see this project as a unique ecumenical, interfaith programme, and a fundamental good, allowing HTB to invest its talents and gifts to help some of our poorest and most desperate neighbours.
There is some press coverage here:
- https://www.rtbf.be/auvio/detail_jt-19h30?id=2280580(from 02:45)