Summer holiday for asylum-seeking children (Lyss BE)
Description: The transit centre in Lyss has been a home for 180 asylum seekers. A good part of the residents were family members, so accordingly the number of children was quite high. However the reality is such that the asylum seekers are a very dynamic group, so recently we have experienced a decreasing number of the children in the centre. This tendency in the last months cannot guarantee the further existence of the school there, so from next year structural changes are needed. The remaining children (currently about 11) who go to school have summer holidays starting on 08.07.2017. In the following weeks, when they have not much to do, the transit center wants to offer them a two-week animation program with the help of SCI volunteers.
Type of Work: Organize an interesting and entertaining program, suitable for 11 school children aged between 6 and 14 years and have a good time with them. The number of children showing up from day to day is not a constant. This means you should be flexible when planning activities for the kids and ready for a “change in the plan”. Also keep in mind that living in the transit center provides conditions for “absorption” in the asylum seeking community. Be aware that socializing in the international group of volunteers and having time only for yourselves is also part of the workcamp experience. There is also a fascinating project called In-Limbo that is interesting to participate if there are not enough children. In-Limbo teaches our adult residence to gain several skills, such as gardening, manufactu
Study Theme: 2-hours introduction to the transit center, its mission and the specific challenges in the everyday work.
Accommodation: Mattresses, sheets and blankets will be provided. Toilets are in the school building, where you will be accommodated. There is one shower for all volunteers in the residential wing of the transit center. There is a washing machine available for the volunteers. Laptop owners have access to internet via WiFi. Volunteerwill cook in a small staff kitchen or in the kitchen where the asylum seekers cook
Language: Besides English, knowing some German (B1-B2 level) is highly recommended. Most of our children speak only German (to some extent), as they study it at school. The local language is Swiss German.
Requirements: Please, prepare and bring ideas for games and activities with the children from the center. The content and success of the holiday program depends entirely on your personal initiative and inputs.
Approximate Location: Lyss is between the Swiss capital town Berne and the bilingual town Biel/Bienne.
Notes: This workcamp is part of the international campaign "Building Bridges" which aims to raise awareness and stimulate the reflection about the current refugee crisis and forced migration in general. Through non-formal learning methods, participants will be able to share knowledge and experiences about the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in different countries as well as volunteering projects that locally support refugees and asylum seekers. Volunteers will be encouraged to think about how they can make a contribution to peaceful living together of people from all origins in their home town.
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