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Swiss Congregation Opens Refugee Service

Tuesday April 26 2022

The Church of Scotland congregation in Lausanne, Switzerland, is opening a day centre for Ukrainian refugees.

The Scots Kirk is one of three English-speaking churches collaborating on the project, and will host the centre. Running two days a week, it will give the refugees a change to meet and socialise, get help and advice from local volunteers and organisations, and access Ukrainian TV and the internet. There will also be games and help with homework (especially French) for the children, and the church will act as a collection point for donations of clothes and other items.

The Rev Gillean MacLean, minister of the Scots Kirk, told lenews.ch: “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.”

The initiative is supported by Lausanne’s other English-speaking churches, Christ Church (Anglican/Episcopal) and Our Lady of Faith (Roman Catholic).

Nearly 40,000 refugees from Ukraine have been registered in Switzerland since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, according to the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration.

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