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Ukrainian ‘100 Schoolbags’ appeal

The LiLi Centre continues with its mission of helping newcomers and foreigners to integrate in Swiss society. As such we start and/or support initiatives helping the community. This is why we are collaborating with NoMoreWalking and CommunityLinks. Our common mission is to provide all Ukrainian children arriving in the canton of Lucerne with a schoolbag, and school supplies, to enable attendance at a school in the community.

The LiLi Centre is the main drop off point for donations to the ‘100 Schoolbags’ appeal. The donated schoolbags, and supplies, have been collected and put together at the centre by volunteers. The first collection of 61 schoolbags was successfully delivered to Libellenstrasse TUK (Temporär Unterkunft) on May 5. Libellenstrasse TUK is an office of the Dienstelle Asyl- und Flüchtlingswesen (Office for Asylum and Refugees) and is responsible for the distribution and delivery of the school bags to the Ukrainian children currently living at the Libellenstrasse apartments. An additional 4 school bags have been delivered through local schools.

A Ukrainian volunteer with the LiLi Centre, Svitlana, has been helping with the collection of ‘100 Schoolbags’, as well as collecting medical supplies, groceries, bedding and thermal goods to be sent to the Ukraine. Svitlana is maintaining contact with the Ukrainian Embassy in Bern to coordinate the needs of the Ukrainian people. She said, “‘100 Schoolbags’ is a great initiative and I am thankful for the local people willing to help and for being so proactive and supportive to realise this project. I just want to help wherever I can. I can’t help in Ukraine so helping from here is more useful at the moment.”

NoMoreWalking is a not for profit organisation founded in 2015 in Greece for Syrian refugees to help raise funds for buses to eliminate the need of walking long distances. Nadia, the founder and director, said, “the ultimate objective for this project is to provide every child arriving from Ukraine with a schoolbag so they can attend school. We know that there are more children arriving and it has been fantastic how motivated people have been. The bags we have already delivered were collected in less than 10 days. People are delivering quality bags and this shows that it comes from the heart.”

The financial donations received have been used to buy good quality essential supplies for every schoolbag that includes: lunch box, pencil case, water bottles, coloured pencils, pens, sharpeners, erasers and scissors. As there are families and children still arriving the appeal will continue with The LiLi Centre open for donations throughout the week as there is a donation box outside the front door. It is important that the message is shared further, as volunteers now reach out to businesses and schools to run events and to anyone who would like to be an ambassador.

Message from Nadia, NoMoreWalking:

  1. Thanks to everyone who has already participated and for their warm support. It has been incredible how efficient, respectful and motivated people have contributed to this project so far.
  2. We would like to invite more people to get engaged with the project – we welcome everyone! Reach out to us whether you are a community member (with or without kids!), a business or a school. We can find the best way together for you to participate!
  3. We will continue collecting bags and raising funds for as long as there are children who do not have access to a bag. Our hope is that one day we can say goodbye to the project, because there will be no more children without a bag.

Charlie Hartmann, director of The LiLi Centre, is happy to offer support for grassroot social projects. She said, “The role of the LiLi Centre has always been to help others, so it is wonderful when individual or other organisations want to collaborate on projects making a meaningful impact”.

How can you help?

  1. Donate items: schoolbags/backpacks, pencil cases, sports bags, water bottles, lunch boxes

Main drop off point

The LiLi Centre

Alpenquai 40a, Lucerne

Any questions: contact us

  1. Fund the contents of a school bag – donation options can be found at NoMoreWalking.
  1. Order from our wish list here

An Amazon wish list has been created and contains the updated amounts required for the next deliveries. You are of course welcome to buy from anywhere, or any brand/make of the items we use in the bags! The items on the wish list have been checked for quality and we buy them in bulk for cost efficiency.

  1. Be an Ambassador – sign up here

Share the message with friends, family, put a flyer up at your local community centre, businesses, school, work, set up an alternative drop off point or organise a collection event. You can contact Nadia for details on what becoming an ambassador entails, how you can get involved and what level of commitment you could provide. There is a Whatsapp group to share ideas and ask questions.

To download:

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How can businesses and schools help?

Set up a schoolbag event to collect well kept or new bags, as well as school supplies. Contact us for details and any help you may require at: info@nomorewalking.ch.

Lily Töngi-Andrews

lily.toengi_andrews@fastmail.com

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