Expat mum's clear-out gives hope to hard-up residents

An expatriate mother-of-two is helping less well off people in the Grand Duchy only a month after moving here.

When Rute Vendeirinho, 33, decided to give away some unwanted kitchen utensils she unwittingly tapped into the often over-looked problem of poverty in Luxembourg.

Her post on blog “Desperate Housekeeping for Busy Moms and Dads” asking who she could donate her things to prompted a flurry of replies from families living on the breadline.

“I had heard about poverty in Luxembourg, especially from other friends who have lived here for longer than me. But I didn't believe it until I saw it,” said Rute.

The Portuguese national, who is on maternity leave from her job in the banking sector, set up the blog as a hobby last August following her husband's move to Luxembourg. She followed in December after the birth of her second child.

“I moved to Luxembourg with everything. My place in Portugal was three times bigger than in Luxembourg so, I had lots of things I realised that I didn't use at all,” Rute told wort.lu/en, adding: “I posted an article on my blog asking who I should give them to. But, instead of receiving names of associations I had personal requests from people asking for things.”

Among the people the altruistic mum has met with were an expatriate family who travelled to Luxembourg with few possessions to start a new life. Another family had lived here for four years but had very few comforts.

“What amazed me was that I just gave some simple things, just a box, and they were so grateful,” said Rute, who is already thinking ahead. “The next step since I'm just one person with good intentions is I want to spread the word.”

In total Rute has received around 20 similar requests and she is meeting the individuals in person to see how she can help them. She has appealed for items from people on the Internations website and now she hopes to enlist the help of other voluntary organisations such as the American Women's Club as well as local schools.

Ultimately, Rute would like to introduce a scheme similar to the Kid to Kid franchise, where people can sell used children's clothes for cash online or via a shop and these are sold on at a low cost to others. The mother would like to open it up to whereby people can donate and receive quality goods for the home.

“I think that would be a really good idea to implement here as well not only for poorer people but for everyone. I think it's easier to get people to participate if you're asking for objects and not just for money,” she said.

If you have household objects you would like to give away, contact Rute via email on givingatlux@gmail.com