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The Play Hub in Enschede has opened on January 13th, 2020. It is run by two Roma mediators, Antonio and Kali. It is well visited – mainly by Romani families, with children between zero and 18 years of age.
For adults, cooking and sewing activities are organized. In the same sessions, information and advice on early childhood education and care is provided. The Play Hub is located in a church/community building where also other social activities are being organized and it is nearby the public library.
Enschede, together with neighboring Oldenzaal, is one of the so-called “Roma-municipalities”, with around 450 Romani people. It is a community at risk of exclusion with high percentages of criminality, unemployment and illiteracy. Child marriages and early pregnancies for the women also happen disproportionately more than in the majority community. Roma in Enschede, however, are looking for other perspectives in life. One of the means towards this change, is the TOY for Inclusion Play Hub.
It is opened every Monday from 12:00 to 17:00.
In May, a new Play Hub was opened in Lelystad, in the Salvation Army’s “Believing in the Neighbourhood” community centre. The center is located in a neighbourhood called “Jol”, which has a diverse population and is significantly made up of social housing. Of the 350 Roma people living in Lelystad, several live in Jol.
The community center includes a second-hand shop selling clothing and other goods. Several Roma people already visit this shop. Additionally, the ‘living room’ is visited by mothers and children every now and then. The Play Hub is open on Monday mornings and afternoons. However, up until now we have struggled to reach out to and welcome many children and parents. We developed new leaflets to disseminate in the neighbourhood, at (pre-)schools and child health clinics.
This Play Hub has been made possible by the Salvation Army Netherlands. For more information contact Esther Postma (Enschede) and André van der Galiën (Lelystad)