Maranatha film screening for refugee children

Children from the refugee shelter at the Cobbenhagenlaan got to be children again yesterday, during the afternoon film at Maranatha chaplaincy. The children and their parents watched a movie there, during the first ‘Maranatha Afternoon’.Six Tilburg University students helped organizing the afternoon. They pick up their neighbors around 13.00 and walk them to the student chaplaincy’s meeting room. In the room, the animation movie Shaun the Sheep is screened on a big screen. There is lemonade and cookies, and the students walk the children and their parents back ‘home’ at 16.00.


The afternoon is part of Maranatha’s charity activities. Student chaplain Michiel Peeters: “We wanted to do something for the people in the shelter, that is practically located in our garden. One of the afternoon’s goals is relaxation for the kids. In addition, our faith says that we become richer when we give. We are testing if that is true.”

“We can also take them to the Oude Warande, for example”

The idea was a fun afternoon for around ten refugee children between 4 and 8 years old. In the room, there are at least twenty children. Peeters says that sixty children signed up for coming; too much for the volunteers. The activity afternoon is still in the experimental fase, he explains. “We want to do this weekly, or biweekly, depending on our volunteers. We have to see how it goes.” The student chaplain also considers other activities. “When spring comes, we would like to go outside with the children. They are inside a lot, we can also take them to Oude Warande, for example.”

Not just for children

Rostom Mnjoyan (47), who is staying at the shelter, came with his five-year-old son. He thinks the film screening is a nice gesture. “We come together with the Dutch here, and that is good for everybody. We can learn from eachother,” the Iraqi says. Watching a movie together relaxes him, and he can forget about the drama from the war for a while. His son loves the movie. “In Iraq, he used to watch a daily series about Shaun the Sheep. Mnjoyan adds: “But this is also fun for adults, I like watching it.”Film1

“The least we can do is provide some entertainment”

Rebecca Quazi, Liberal Arts student, is helping out during the afternoon. With her student association Extra Muros, she is often involved in projects for refugees. “We like to help people and want to promote their integration in our society. The least we can do is provide some entertainment, especially for young children.” She thinks this is working out on this Wednesday afternoon. “The children seem to be enjoying themselves. And the parents are too, because their children are happy.”


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