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18 December 2019
Holiday stays of the Luxembourg Red Cross are open to all children, including those with disabilities. And success is there.
La Panne house, located 200 meters from the beach, is perfectly equipped to receive young people with disabilities. Result? Holidays on the Belgian coast welcome between 4 and 10 children with a disability from a group of 40 participants. This success led to the creation, 20 years ago, of two additional annual stays, reserved for 20 young disabled people over 16 years of age. Romain Peters, head of the Holiday Department, is enthusiastic: “Whether they have a child, whether they have already stayed in our house or not, they can enjoy it until the age of 36! Five or six have never missed the meeting for … 20 years! “.
A good proof of confidence towards voluntary monitors who take turns cheerfully with those who cannot get up or prepare without their help.
For parents, deciding to entrust their child for a week to “strangers”, especially when he has special needs, is far from easy. Romain Peters’s team establishes a direct dialogue from the start in order to reassure them and to best prepare for the success of the stay. Before departure, the person responsible for the stay and at least one monitor visit the parents and their child several times if necessary. The goal ? Get to know and collect information that is important for your safety, comfort and well-being: schedules for taking medications, reactions to certain situations, etc.
All different, all the same, all together
On the day of departure on vacation, the instructors explain to the able-bodied children the handicaps of the other children present. The little fear of the unknown evaporates to make way for empathy and the desire to have fun while sharing. “The able-bodied children help others eat or dress, make sure they are included in activities and games. Often, young volunteer instructors who really discover disability for the first time, after having received solid training from our seasoned guides, tell us that they did not imagine that the adventure could be as enriching. And each colony contributes a little to reinforce this experience, ”he concludes.