Central and Eastern Europe, Limburg

Expansion of accommodation spaces in Heerlen for Ukrainian women and children

On February 1, 2024, the number of accommodation spaces in the monastery complex Huize de Berg in Dutch Heerlen will be expanded with 60 places for refugee women and children from Ukraine. Currently approximately 130 women and children reside there. The 60 new places will allow for an expansion, while also making the most of the space at this location. This means that no further expansion is possible in the existing building after this.

Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022, hundreds of thousands of people have fled the violence. Many Ukrainian refugees are already in the Netherlands or are still arriving, including in South Limburg. In the past year and a half, municipalities have complied with the request to provide shelter. However, the war continues and war victims are still fleeing. All municipalities in the country have been continuously asked to look for new places or expansion options for existing (emergency) shelters. Heerlen has continuously looked at possibilities and has taken a new step with this expansion, despite great pressure on capacities and possibilities.

Mayor Roel Wever: “I am happy that we can once again create 60 safe places for women and children fleeing from Ukraine. It is a challenge to meet the government’s demands. But fortunately it turned out that expansion was possible in Huize de Berg, something we immediately investigated within the possibilities. The care here is going well; the sisters, refugees and local residents are satisfied and can live together happily.”

In 2022 it became clear that the municipality would receive Ukrainian refugees in the Huize de Berg monastery complex in Heerlen. Two wings of the building were equipped as sleeping and living quarters for up to 150 women and children, arriving in phases from June 2022. The women and children receive shelter, are helped with practical matters and guidance as well as school or work are concerned. The upcoming expansion will accommodate a maximum of 210 women and children in the building.

Image:  Ekaterina via Pixabay

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