New residents for New Life Center!
We had such plans for New Life Center, or the Blue House as all villagers in Długa Goślina know our building north of Poznan.
After serving as a shelter for homeless for 12 years, thanks to all possible resources that were slowly coming in, the property has been renovated, repaired where necessary, and prepared for new programs that would start running in 2020… And then came Covid. The effect is well known.
With Covid slowly retreating, the plans were updated and supplemented with the arrival of Martin & Esther Boogaard at the end of March. They would use the building for retreats and various therapy programs. Yes, Martin and Esther are here, but what can be happening in a country that needs to offer shelter for more than 2 million refugees? And what does a Foundation that aims to help people in need do? Of course! Since the beginning of March, 23 Ukrainian refugees have been given accommodation in NLC, in building with an actual capacity of around 15 people… But we are grateful for the possibility to provide help, and our guests for receiving it.
We are constantly learning to be flexible, but are counting our blessings:
- Martin & Esther would use April and May to peacefully further furnish the building… Not much of this is happening. They are immediately thrown into the deep end with all ongoing contacts, where the fact that Esther speaks fluent Russian is a fantastic gift!
- Olek and Tamara, who have been living in NLC as Ukrainian host families for two years, form a wonderful link with the refugees. Despite their grieving process after the death of their little son Artur in February, they are a source of support for the refugees who are also going through a tragic time.
- The local community sees the Blue House as a beacon again! And help is offered from all sides. Villagers with educational experience teach the refugees Polish language, others contribute to food supply or transport, and this is how the army of volunteers of Bread of Life grows!
No one knows what the coming weeks, months and years will look like. We have to stay flexible. But we do know that we will do everything we can to provide shelter and care to people where we can.
That’s why we started fundraising for our “Tiny Homes Project” during our visit to the US. Tiny homes that can be built without building permit and provide permanent living space in addition to NLC’s existing capacity.
And so we are waiting for more and more new residents for NLC!