The Slovenia Times

Refugees to be welcomed in festive mood


Volunteers from the Slovenian Philanthropy charity will decorate the Dobova reception centre as well as the train station where some 3,000 refugees enter Slovenia from Croatia daily.

Despite the holidays, police say the registration of migrants will proceed as usual, depending on the daily arrivals. Since mid-October, some 352,500 refugees have entered the country.

The mood at the Dobova centre will be perked up this Saturday by Red Noses, a group of performers dressed up as clowns that do regular rounds at hospitals to cheer up children and help their recovery.

Primož Jamšek from Slovenian Philanthropy says the entertainment for children is designed for the whole family, as the parents too need to unwind for a while.

The charity believes they need more than just basics such as food and drink. They need to feel they are welcome, regardless of where they will end up in Europe.

This is why volunteers at the Dobova reception centre are trying to involve the refugees in chores such as tidying up. "They can do the cleaning and are glad they can contribute," Jamšek has told the STA.

Volunteers have already prepared an entertainment programme for Christmas Eve. Seeing how the activities go down, they will repeat if the refugees accept them well.

In cooperation with the UN refugee agency UNHCR the charity is organising a special treat for the New Year's with karaoke. The UHNCR will see to the music from the regions the migrants come from.

The developments will depend on how tired the refugees are. Sometimes most just want to get some rest before heading on for Austria, but there are also livelier groups, according to Jamšek.

Slovenian Philanthropy is collecting donations to present gifts to refugees on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The children will get sports backpacks or bags with sweets, toys, colouring books and crayons.


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