Historically, Breda has a connection with Wroclaw in Poland. From the start of the war in Ukraine, this city has faced an influx of more than 100,000 refugees. Wroclaw has a connection with the Ukrainian city of Lviv. Heart-warming initiatives arose from Breda's feeling of solidarity and connectedness. The first initiative of Breda Maakt Mij Blij (Breda Makes Me Happy) was to arrange the collection of relief supplies for Ukrainian refugees in Wroclaw. Breda Council and Breda-based businesses arranged for goods to be collected and transported to Wroclaw.
The next phase of Breda Maakt Mij Blij (Breda Makes Me Happy), under the name #BredavoorOekraine (Breda for Ukraine), resulted in several journeys to transport goods plus a crowdfunding campaign.
Breda and Wroclaw are working on agreements to continue their cooperation. The intention is to create a collaboration between Lviv-Wroclaw-Breda. A Memorandum of Understanding is currently being drawn up for the international agreements.
MOOIWERK Breda (an organisation that assists individuals in finding volunteer work)
The images of the war in Ukraine are heart-breaking and all the help being offered and provided is heart-warming. Many inhabitants of Breda want to help and offer assistance.
Would you like to work as a volunteer? Or are you a voluntary organisation or sports club with something to offer? Please contact MOOIWERK Breda. Call (076) 523 35 60 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refugeehelp.nl is a good starting point for refugees from Ukraine and other people wishing to help them. Refugees can visit this website to find up-to-date information, in their own language about, for example, accommodation, public transport, education, work, medical care, care for pets or legal aid. This website also points refugees to organisations and initiatives that are important to them. This allows Ukrainians to 'find their own way' around the Netherlands.
Refugeehelp.nl is aimed specifically at refugees from Ukraine because their situation is very different from that of other refugees. A Dutch language version of this website is also available to enable, for example, people to help refugees they are hosting.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross offers first aid, food and psychosocial support in Ukraine, neighbouring countries and in the Netherlands. Help is still urgently needed. The Red Cross has opened Giro 5125 for donations: Help the residents of Ukraine - Red Cross (Dutch)
The International organisation for refugees UNCHR provides emergency help throughout the world for refugees. You can donate money.
Open Embassy is looking for people who have a good command of English, who are good at gathering information and/or speak the Ukrainian language. The network will be used to help Ukrainian refugees find housing, help them to find mental health support and with practical and legal matters.
Help for animals from Ukraine
You can help animals from Ukraine. For example, by providing animal or pet food, animal beds, vaccinations, or by hosting refugees with their pets.
Church service for refugee
In the centre of Breda, at the Antoniuskathedraal (St. Janstraat 8), a church service is held at 12.00 noon every day. The services are given in Dutch, but it often doesn't matter to those attending in which language the service is given. They are familiar with the ritual and know what is going on. They also look for a peaceful place to be alone and to light a candle. The priests who are present at the cathedral are also available if someone would like to speak to them.
Walk-in session at the Stichting Vluchtelingenwerk Breda (Council for Refugees, Breda)
Every Wednesday afternoon, a walk-in session is held from 14.00 – 16.00 hours. Location: Stichting de Herberg (Dutch), Haagweg 3, Breda.
Host families and refugees are welcome to come along if they have any questions about the right of residence, family reunification, items they may need, facilities in Breda and language lessons.
Information and news, including from a cultural perspective, can be found here: bibliotheekbreda.nl.