A Day Centre for Ukrainian refugees will be opened on 28 April 2022 supported by three local English-speaking churches. Based at the Scots Kirk, Avenue de Rumine 26 in Lausanne, it will be open Thursday and Sunday afternoons (14h00 – 17h00).
Gillean MacLean, Minister of the Scots Kirk explains why the Centre is being established: “We feel, as a Church gathered from many nations who have found a home here in Switzerland, that we must help these refugees who continue to suffer the most dreadful loss and upheaval. We have the means and the capacity to be there for them socially and physically and we look forward to offering them a warm welcome and learning from them how best we can help.”
Jeremy McTeague who is managing the Centre describes the services: “Vitally, refugees will need space from their host families and vice-versa. We will provide a safe space for about 30 people where they will be able to exchange news and advice and form relationships with their compatriots. Our volunteers will be able to sit with them and offer a listening ear, strengthen their resilience and self-confidence and help with local knowledge and administration.”
The centre will serve as a focal point for experts and specialists to visit as well as being a collection point for donations of clothes and personal items. It will offer internet access and Ukrainian TV news so refugees can keep abreast of events in their country. And for children there will be games, friendship and homework help – especially in French.
The Centre’s volunteers will undergo safe-guarding training so that it in addition to running the Centre’s routine activities, they can safely undertake tasks including accompanying refugees to meetings and/or liaising with the authorities, health services and schools.
The Centre is keen to collaborate with other local organisations, experts and donors so that it can deliver the best quality services to as many people as possible
The Day Centre for Ukrainian refugees in Lausanne is an ecumenical initiative started by the English-speaking churches in the city. Based at the Scots Kirk in the centre of Lausanne, the Centre’s volunteers provide support to refugees from the Ukraine irrespective of language, race, faith or gender. Its services are free. The initiative is supported by private donors and the congregations of Our Lady of Faith, Christ Church and the Scots Kirk. For further information please contact: Jeremy McTeague, email@example.com or 076 558 6805.