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New shelter for migrants in Haren

© Belga
© Belga

A shelter for migrants from the Maximilien Park opened its doors on Monday evening in Haren in Brussels-Capital Region. Managed jointly by the Plateforme citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés (Citizens Platform for Support for Refugees) and Médecins du monde, the centre has 80 beds thus far.

The migrants will be able to stay there from 8 p.m. to around 10 a.m. and meals will be served to them in the evenings and mornings.

“Thanks to a fund-raising drive, we obtained 10,000 euros to install showers in containers that will be placed outside the centre,” said Mahdi Kassou of Platforme citoyenne. “The idea is to ease things fior the families who have been accommodating hundreds of migrants each night for many months.

However, the associations expressed regret at the total lack of support from public institutions at the federal and regional levels. “Two months ago, the Brussels Region had promised financial assistance to organizations that help migrants,” Kassou recalled. “We have received nothing, whereas we could increase the number of beds if we received help”.

Dozens of volunteers will have to provide transport for the migrants between the Maximilien Park and the centre, distribute meals and look after logistics.

The platform has launched an appeal for donations to obtain chairs, desks, toilet paper, tootbrushes and a coffee machine.

The Haren Centre will remain open until the 30th April 2018.

Oscar Schneider
The Brussels Times