Yves Piron (centre), head of Olai, the foreigner integration agency, speaks during a public tour of the new refugee housing centre in Soleuvre, in the commune of Sanem, on 26 August 2017
A former old age home will be reborn this week as shelter for asylum seekers.
Sanem’s mayor and commune council, Olai (the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency) and the Red Cross organised an open house event of the new centre in Soleuvre on Saturday.
Yves Piron, director of Olai, told Delano that it is one of the biggest refugee centres in Luxembourg. The building used to be a nursing home for elderly people, with a capacity of 78 rooms. This week 312 asylum seekers will move in.
The centre includes a common kitchen area, gym facilities, several activity rooms, as well as an area for people with restricted mobility. While several offices are located in the facility, the Red Cross is in charge of the centre.
The mayor, Georges Engel, said that the centre is intended for asylum seekers who have been in the grand duchy for several months. They will be transferred from other local centres. Many among them will be families. Staff members will facilitate educational meetings with teachers and enrolment of children in local schools.
One social worker will be in charge of the centre and organise social activities between the local residents and the residents of the centre, including sports, language courses, gardening and other cultural events.
With the open-door event, Piron said that he hoped to “tear down barriers between local residents and their people” to present the refugees’ future home to the public.
The team is still looking for volunteers to assist with social activities. For further information, email [email protected]