Foyer Corona: fixed rules and staying creative

Johan Leman, 5 December 2021

Despite the corona blues, we at Foyer keep our spirits up. Hopefully you do too. The good news is that the activities, apart from a few, have mostly kept going. The rules were the same from the beginning, without all kinds of yo-yo movements, and to be respected by all, even the visitors: hand washing, hand gel, mouth masks, keeping your distance, always ventilate everything inside, activities as much as possible outside, and otherwise in large, well ventilated rooms, very strongly urge for our staff to be vaccinated. In concrete terms, this means that the ‘Atelier de quartier’ for men (where machines are central and dust is released) remained closed, but that young people, men and women, were during activities out and about a lot. A number of young people, for example, cycled as far as Amsterdam and they are now preparing a bicycle trip to Morocco. The after-school guidance, both French-speaking and Dutch-speaking, received a lot of attention.

The VGC also asked us to promote the vaccination in 18 languages and to keep a vaccination info point open. We are convinced that this was useful and helped a lot.

We experience the corona time as an invitation to creativity for the same commitments as before. Corona must not be stronger than us and Corona must not take away our life and activities. We continue to constructively challenge people to connect despite the impact of the pandemic on individual resilience and social cohesion.

A lesson we would also suggest to all governments. Always say from the start what you don’t know (yet) about Corona, and then lay down a few clear ground rules that you stick to constantly, without too many changes. For the rest, let everything go on as normal as possible, unless it is obviously impossible. It works.