Diaconal help for refugees

Many churches are faced with refugees. Because of a nearby asylum seekers center, or because refugees have come to live in the neighborhood. What calling does the church have for them? How can your church be involved?

Refugees have left everything behind to build a new life here. They are strong people, all unique people. But their past is often heavy, the future is still uncertain. In addition, many refugees come to live in a neighborhood or village while they are still barely integrated. This leads to problems. That’s why refugees really need your support. A lot has already been arranged for refugees in Belgium. There are various organizations that have contacts with them from a professional role and help them. You don’t have to do this.

Being human, being humane

There is another need that professionals can hardly meet: being 'as a human next to the other'. That means: walking a bit along the life path of refugees and listening. This is what they miss the most: a new family, and finding their identity in this. This is something you eminently can do from the church. A good result is often that refugees build up a social network. They also learn how things run in Belgium.

How do you handle this?

As a church it is valuable to build teams of volunteers who want to enter into a relationship with refugees. It is important that you coordinate this well. The most ideal is that one person is committed as a ‘wagon puller’. In this way it becomes something of the church and is there progress. It’s also a great possibility to do this with different churches together. You can form a working group together and work structurally on building networks. You can join forces and work together on specific activities for refugees and give them a place in the church.

Do you have questions about diaconal help? Feel free to send a mail to or call Sjaak van Leijenhorst via 0486/77 63 47