Belgian cities provide game packages for children during lockdown
Because every kid deserves to spend its time in a meaningful way
- April 10, 2020 14:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
The home isolation caused by the coronavirus-related lockdowns has taken its toll on parents in Belgium. The federal government has extended the pandemic measures to 19 April, which means more weeks under quarantine. Luckily, cities in Flanders have come to the rescue with free game kits.
Special aid for the most vulnerable
With schools having shut down, and playgrounds and parks being closed, children are forced to stay at home for days on end, deprived of their energy outlets and of essential means of socialisation. This situation is challenging even for the wealthiest of families, let alone for the vulnerable households. The latter often find it difficult to ensure that their kids are spending their free time in the most meaningful of ways, due to their own lack of means.
This is what some Belgian cities want to amend by providing low-income families with game packages. For example, at the start of Easter holidays, the city of Ghent distributed 1,500 free such packages to local families. Said bundles include crafts, games and reading materials. They have been collected by coordinators of the various Community School districts and prepared jointly by volunteers, local service providers and city authorities.
Leuven, for its part, gives away new and second-hand game equipment. The entertainment packages are put together by city employees and volunteers and delivered to vulnerable families at home. These include construction kits, board games, educational activities, reading books and comics.
The goal of the locally driven initiatives is to allow any child to have fun during the holiday season despite the extraordinary situation of social isolation. Through this measure, the cities want to reduce the effects of the income gap that is reinforced even further by the pandemic circumstances.
Coronavirus situation in Belgium
Up to 8 April, there have been 23 403 cases of COVID-19 infections detected in Belgium (info-coronavirus.be). Until the government-imposed social isolation is suspended, citizens are expected to stay home, being allowed only to go to work, go for groceries, go to the bank, visit the doctor, or assist vulnerable persons.
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