The Belgian Red Cross is dedicating €2 million to schools as part of their action plan to help victims of this summer’s deadly floods.
Almost €1 million has already been used to provide educational materials, cover school and canteen costs and offer recreational activities, according to a press release from the organisation.
The Red Cross contacted over 100 schools and 43 will receive assistance to support the schooling of their affected students.
“The aim is not to replace the subsidies granted by the competent authorities, or to intervene in expenses that would be covered by insurance (such as building repairs), but to intervene in goods and services for the direct benefit of all affected pupils,” the Red Cross said.
Schools will assess their own needs, which could include teaching materials, state-of-the-art equipment for skills training, playground or sports equipment, classroom or canteen furniture, or the organisation of group activities aimed at the well-being of pupils affected by the floods.
One of the schools to benefit was the Athénée Verdi in Pepinster, located in the province of Liège, where flooding was particularly bad.
That school received €171,000 to help 536 pupils through the purchase of electromechanical equipment for the technical education section, digital boards, and funding for school fees and outdoor activities for pupils whose parents are in great financial difficulty.
“The school has several buildings, some of which were completely flooded to a height of three metres,” Morgane Henrot, headmistress of Athénée Verdi, said in a statement.
“It was very important for us to welcome all the pupils on 1 September because their summer was very complicated. Some kids spent 24 hours on their roofs waiting for help... It's not a trivial thing to go through.”
Other schools are using the funding to re-equip facilities that were damaged by floods, and one is using the support to offer soup at lunchtime because they still don’t have their heating restored.