“There aren’t any needs here.” That’s what we heard over and over when we moved to Luxembourg. Regularly hitting the top three richest nations in the world (by GDP), Luxembourg is a beautiful and pristine little country, snuggled between Belgium, France and Germany.
From first impressions, it certainly looks like there is not much wrong here. The streets and parks are spotlessly clean. The roads are well paved and free of potholes. There are beautifully tended flowers in every park and street corner. The buses run on time and regularly, there are a bike stands all over the city to rent a bike from. The pedestrianised old town is home to the pretty Spanish-style palace with its straight-faced guards marching out front, and a host of luxury brand stores line the streets.
We’d only moved two hours’ drive down the motorway, from Brussels, Belgium’s capital, but we could have been a world away. Brussels is gritty and dirty and the need was in our face as soon as we walked out the door: the Roma who gathered in the park by our house at the end of a day of begging; the asylum seekers who lived in a centre on our street and wandered around in the day, no money and nothing to do but wait to hear their fate; the red light district just a few blocks away, where women from Eastern Europe stood in the windows.
Here in Luxembourg, we asked new friends: How can we volunteer? No one had an answer, because no one could think of any needs. But I wasn’t satisfied with that, so we started digging…
I’m sharing our story of volunteering here in Luxembourg, how we dug a little beneath the perfect-surface to find the need, and to find meaning for my own life here. Click over to She Loves to read the rest.
If you live in Luxembourg and are looking for a way to give back your time and skills, you can find out more about our little asbl Serve the City (one year old this month!) on the website or facebook page.