People sitting on top of washing machines

Grant #479


December 13, 2021

New Socks, Hot Showers, Fresh Laundry—The WASH Centre Is Offering Refugees a Little Warmth

How long could you go without a shower and a change of underwear? We often forget what a privilege it is to wear clean clothes and to wash ourselves—without fear. For refugees, daily survival means finding enough food and safe drinking water. The idea of a shower—being able to undress and wash in someplace safe—is a luxury. 

That’s why a group of volunteers working with the organization Collective Aid launched the WASH Project to offer safe showers to refugees traveling the Balkan Route in Belgrade, Serbia. Homeless Serbians and international refugees can get clean, use a laundromat, and swap their worn-out socks for good ones. If you’ve ever had to walk with blisters on your feet, you know how important it is to have a decent pair of socks. The WASH project operates out of a center known for treating people with compassion and respect. It sets aside designated hours for women and children, so that those groups have privacy in the showers. What a relief it must be, not just to have access to the facilities, but to be welcomed and to be able to leave in better condition than when they arrived.  

Our Awesome Without Borders grant will help make that possible by upgrading the washers and dryers. The new machines will get the laundry done faster than the old ones. That means if people drop off their laundry before 1 p.m., they’ll be able to pick it up, clean and ready to go, later that same afternoon. People on the move can take care of these personal needs rather quickly, letting them get on their way. Now, that’s not just fast service—it’s a genuinely good act of service.

  • People sitting on top of washing machines
Category: Activism, Community, Refugees, Sanitation, Wellness



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