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A Christmas candle to warm a refugee’s heart

by Sophie Patras (European Legal Studies – Manuel Marín Promotion)

For many of us, Christmas means shining shop windows, a glühwein with friends, a bright star on the top of a tree, family around the table, or the end exams period! But isn’t it more? What about the Christmas spirit? The way we share and celebrate together is a matter of generosity, isn’t it? That’s exactly the spirit of the CoE Charity group, all year round!

A fresh start. This year, the adventure began after meeting Maria Audera, a Veiler student who ran the previous Charity group in order to support the Plateforme Citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés, known as Bénévoles BXLrefugees for short. This association provides warm food and accommodation to refugees in Brussels. Two current College students went to Brussels and volunteered to serve dinner to refugees in a centre called "La cuisine de Hanane" and then, after seeing the concrete action undertaken by Bénévoles BXLrefugees, a full group of motivated Marineròs decided to take up the torch and relaunched last year's charity group as Fun for Charity to raise money for the Plateforme.

Spreading some joy in the middle of the tempest. While studying hard for the exams, Fun for Charity prepared some small treats to be send: a cookie, a candy, and a colourful ribbon to cheer up CoE beloved friends. This treats warmed students’ hearts, meanwhile 177€ were collected through this “Christmas treat operation”, which will help to warm those who had to left their family and will spend Christmas far from home. But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Thanks to Inès, Jugwal, Anna, Raiyan and Johan, who took part to the two “Run for Charity” races, Fun for Charity got a new source of inspiration and the organisation gathered more than 400€ to help refugees.

The butterfly effect. Remembering chaos theory and Robert Schuman’s own words, “ L’Europe ne se fera pas d’un coup, ni dans une construction d’ensemble, mais par des réalisations concrètes créant d’abord une solidarité de fait”. We know now that the same apply to human solidarity. Even a small action can make a huge difference when we do it together for those who need it the most.

The show will go on. Fun for Charity’s team still has many ideas to surprise you. By the end of the first semester, the crew will be available in the canteen and on the Christmas market to sell the candles made by the refugees of the asylum center “Le Refuge” in Bruges. Next semester, the team will come up with many new events including a Harry Potter quiz. All you have to do is to join us, support us, follow us on our Facebook page CoE Fun for Charity and enjoy! Let’s sprinkle together some generous magic just like the flame of a candle on your Christmas table!

All I want for Christmas is EU - Issue n. 3, 24 December 2018


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