The Municipality of Groningen is looking for volunteers to help Ukrainian refugees, currently accommodated in the houseboat shelter on the Eems Canal. Volunteers, local residents or anyone interested in helping the refugees can contact the WIJ-Team Oosterparkwijk. The site managers, Hetty van Koevorden and Battal Unaldi, are looking to the community to help support them, however they stress that, for the process to be successful, it needs to be centralized and coordinated properly.
“Particularly in the first weeks, volunteers came right to our doorstep, bringing clothes and other items. Very nice. They came with the best of intentions. But we couldn’t offer them a job right away,” the boat managers say.
“It would be very nice if volunteers report to the WIJ team in the Oosterparkwijk or bring their donations to the Ulgersmaweg. That works best for us,” says Lub Snijder of the WIJ team. “We are still looking for people, especially volunteers for our transportation group.”
Given the situation in Ukraine, with no end in sight to the humanitarian crisis in the country, the Dutch government expects 100,000 to 150,000 Ukrainian citizens to seek refuge in the Netherlands. As greater numbers of refugees arrive in the country, the need for volunteers is likely to intensify.