As the month of October has come to an end, we reflect on our activities of the past month.
Here’s a summary of our initiatives:
- Bringing emergency aid to villages in Morocco
- Fun and connection at COA De Meern
- A focus on mental health at AZC Oisterwijk
- Giving support at WOW Hostel Amsterdam
- Providing back-to-school supplies
- Warehouse update
- Looking forward
Bringing emergency supplies to the villages of Anerni and Ouawdid in Morocco ⛑️🇲🇦
If you’ve been following People for People, you’ll know we sent part of our team, along with the Sheltersuit Foundation, on an emergency response mission to Morocco from September 29th – October 2nd. Last month, we shared some details about how we brought our partners and volunteers together to raise donations, pack supplies and ship them from our warehouse in Amsterdam all the way to Morocco. This month, we’ll share more about our team’s experience distributing aid on the ground in Morocco:
Our first stop was a village called Anerni in the Atlas Mountains which had been blocked by fallen rocks and debris. Tragically, 48 people from the village lost their lives in the earthquake. Those that remain are now living in tents.
Along with much-needed supplies including heaters, tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, and more, we also organized outdoor games and drawing activities for the kids. Over 40 children joined us smiling, laughing and even drawing pictures for us with hearts around our names.
While emergency supplies are a priority, we realized how big a difference these moments can make. As we got ready to leave, two girls wrapped Marcella and Amel in a tight hug and soon we were surrounded by 15 children hugging us all together.
Our second stop was Ouawdid, a village of 64 families in the Atlas Mountains. Being close to the epicenter of the earthquake, all of the houses and buildings are now uninhabitable. Being in such a remote location, the village had received tents but they hadn’t received much-needed emergency supplies yet.
When we arrived, everyone came out to greet us with smiles, including the children who peered out excitedly to see the newcomers.
The army joined us to help distribute the emergency supplies. Mats, sleeping bags, flashlights, Sheltersuits, Shelterbags, more tents, heaters and thermal clothing for the winter were among some of the supplies we brought.
The people in the village were extremely grateful for these donations. Several, including an elderly woman, even asked if they could keep the cardboard boxes to insulate their tents when the winter comes.
While the sun was still bright and hot, in just a little over a month from now these mountainside villages will receive over a meter of snow. That’s when the donations of warm clothing, heaters, blankets and more will be sorely needed.
We can’t thank Action, Intergamma, and Hubo enough for their generous donations. The road to recovery is long and villages like Anerni and Ouawdid will continue to need our support as the winter months start and life in the temporary tent dwellings becomes harder. We will continue our work there together with Winning Wheels and Sheltersuit Foundation to bring aid to those in need ❤️
De Volkskrant also published a story about our crisis response in Morocco which you can read here
Nieuwe Revu also published a story about our mission:
Thanks to Arie Kievit for the beautiful 📸
A boy leaves his room for the first time to join in the fun at COA De Meern ⚽
COA De Meern in Utrecht is a reception center set up to house unaccompanied minors who need extra care and assistance. Throughout the afternoon, it was amazing to see more kids go from shy spectators to enthusiastic players. One in particular was a 14-year-old from Syria who hadn’t left his room since arriving two days before our visit. A COA counselor told us her heart was full seeing him running and laughing with everyone else on the field.
After playing soccer, volleyball and badminton with the kids, we took some time to relax and talk with them about their hopes and dreams for the future. It’s really amazing to see how the power of play helps make these kids smile again.
A focus on mental health for unaccompanied girls at AZC Oisterwijk 🧘
We received an urgent request for donations from AZC Oisterwijk, a reception center that houses girls and boys as young as 13. Most of the minors they receive come directly from Ter Apel, usually with no more than the clothes on their back.
The AZC told us that many of the girls were in urgent need of undergarments. Thanks to our amazing partners, we arranged a pop-up shop with new shoes and basic essentials for all 24 girls who are now in their care.
Along with these needs, the reception center also wants to promote activities that encourage positive mental health. Each of the girls received a yoga mat, towel and a notebook with pencils in the hope that these moments of reflection can help these girls as they build a safer and brighter future in the Netherlands.
Giving support in times of uncertainty at WOW Hostel Amsterdam 🌟
A group of boys at the WOW Hostel in Amsterdam were in an administrative limbo. During their two months at the location, they had become attached to the counselors and their fellow residents. However, they were told they would soon have to move to a new location somewhere in the Netherlands, but it was uncertain who would be going where and for how long.
All of these unknowns coupled with being far away from home weighed heavily on the boys. This is why we decided to quickly jump in and hold a special Rolling Aid event where we could have fun, share stories, build connections and show them they’re not alone.
Helping kids prepare for their future with back-to-school supplies 🎒📚
This month, kids at Rekken and Avenhorn reception centers finally got the opportunity to go back to school. An important part of their journey towards building a great future in the Netherlands is being able to study and pursue their dreams.
At various Rolling Aid events, we’ve held workshops to talk with children about their hopes and dreams for the future. One girl in De Meern told us she wants to become a police officer when she grows up. A boy in Almere plans to open his own hair salon one day. Whatever their dream is, we want to ensure they have all the tools they need to learn, create and grow.
A big thanks to our partner Action who supplied the backpacks and school supplies these children need to pursue a brighter future.
Getting our warehouse ready for winter donations ❄️🧥🧣
After our move to a.s.r. real estate last month, we’ve been busy sorting and organizing our warehouse in time for winter. We’ve already received a number of requests from shelter locations where unaccompanied minors haven’t been able to go outside because they don’t have proper clothing to keep them warm in these cooling temperatures.
Our partnerships lead Martijn Beenen also gave a presentation to show potential partners the beating heart of People for People’s donation operations.
Getting ready for a Rolling Aid event in Ter Apel on Nov. 4th 🙌
We’re now getting ready for our next Rolling Aid event in Ter Apel. The location has yet again received more minors than they have capacity for, making it a priority location. If your organization would like to donate some warm jackets and/or volunteers to help us out, please contact us at email@example.com
Bringing surprises and joy for Sinterklaas 🧸With Sinterklaas and Christmas around the corner, we’ve begun prepping some nice projects to bring surprises, gifts and joy to children staying in different reception centers across the Netherlands. Check out our fundraising page for more information about how you can help: https://peopleforpeople.info/fundraising/