A plea for making welcoming possible
It’s official: The independent national human rights investigator (Nationale Ombudsman) declares that Heumensoord is not a good place when it comes to human rights. Media coverage follows accordingly (Following the link, you can read an English translation to RTL nieuws’ video).
From our side, it is not a new situation that the living conditions are far from acceptable in the camp. On the 14th of december, around 300 people from Heumensoord and Nijmegen walked to the municipality in order to file a complaint about the living conditions in the camp.
And again, we ask ourselves: What if it was us? And: How can you uphold a creative and positive attitude towards life if you have no privacy? What do you do if you cannot sleep because of noise, moving tent walls and worries about your family that had to stay in an unsafe country in war?
It is the way the camp Heumensoord is set up that is a problem. It is designed to create stress, not to prevent stress.
Great and inspring people like Manar show us how to stay positive and make the best out of every situation. He keeps himself busy by activities like sport, learning and going out:
“I don’t have much time to sit and complain.” – he emphasizes. “I’m not kind of a guy who complains when facing a problem. I try to either ignore it or find a solution. (…) If you have a goal and with some help, you can reach your goal. The key is to have a goal and work on it, ask people. If you ask people for help, you’ll be able to help them later.”
However, the aim should be to create a living atmosphere, where you do not endanger human rights. Now there is the official report of the human rights institute and the nationale Ombudsman and the media’s attention.
The next step should be for the governement to act and change the situation responsibly.
Make real integration happen, don’t isolate 3000 people in a forest! Instead create possibilities to meet and learn from each other!