Shoeboxes for children

It is the time of the year that children all over the Netherlands put one of their shoes in front of the fireplace, hoping that Sinterklaas, the skinny Dutch version of Santa, will fill it with presents overnight. But why stop there? The international students of student association ELSA plan to be even more generous than the white-bearded bishop and give children in Ghana, Iraq and Sri Lanka entire shoeboxes filled with goodies. The ELSA room in the Esplanade Building is slowly filling with donated shoeboxes. Four prettily decorated boxes are being handed to board member Georgi Iliev. They come with instructions: this one is for a boy aged 5, the other for a girl aged 5. It is the same with all the boxes, Iliev explains: a sticker on each box denotes if it’s for a boy or a girl and for which age group. What’s inside the boxes, and the amount of decoration on the outside, is entirely up to the benefactors. It can be toys, toiletries, clothes, he says, and certainly school supplies. After all, the theme of the donations drive is ‘The Right to Education’.

It’s not just ELSA students that take part in the drive, says Iliev. Students from other associations or studies also take the cause to heart and hand over shoeboxes filled with goodies and kindness. New donations are still welcome, the organizers of the drive Emma Kakes and Nathalia Cortez collect shoebox donations until the end of this week.

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