Lodewijk Asscher bezoek Erasmus Sport vluchtelingen (1)
Minister Lodewijk Asscher van Sociale Zaken bezoekt Erasmus Sport Image credit: Elmer Smaling

Lodewijk Asscher, the Minister of Social Affairs, visited the Erasmus Sports Centre on Tuesday afternoon. He came to talk to the refugees and to see how their reception at Erasmus University was being organised.

The press were not welcome during the minister’s visit to 200 refugees in the sports building. Afterwards, Asscher stated that ‘the way in which Erasmus University has done this is very impressive. It was wonderful to observe the efforts of all the volunteers and employees and to see how quickly this has all been achieved. In an ultrashort time. Very impressive.”

“The refugees feel comfortable and safe here”, continued Asscher. “But, of course, it is only a temporary location. Their journey isn’t over yet. You can see that people are extremely grateful for what is happening here.”

Vrijwilligers en medewerkers Erasmus Sport helpen mee

One of the many employees of Erasmus Sport who is working overtime is Daan Antenyismu, a cook. Yesterday evening, he cooked penne with minced meat and tomato sauce. “I set up two buffets in the hall and they really enjoyed it. Tonight, chicken with Mexican vegetables and hollandaise sauce is on the menu”, says the cook.

Daan Antenyismu kok Erasmus Sport vluchtelingen
Daan Antenyismu kookt voor de vluchtelingen. Zelf vluchtte hij 21 jaar geleden vanuit Ethiopië naar Nederland. Image credit: Elmer Smaling

Catering for a group of 200 people does not create a problem for him. “We once had a group of 1200 eaters here.” All the meat is prepared in accordance with halal rules at Erasmus Sport. Antenyismu was also a refugee 21 years ago, when he fled from Ethiopia. He says that the situation for many refugees is ‘pitiful, but it’s really nice to be able to help’. In any case, people will be working a great deal of overtime until Thursday.