GENDRINGEN/ ULFT – A procession of beautifully lit tractors passed through the streets of Gendringen and Ulft on Friday evening, past the care homes De Oevelgunne, De Meulenbeek and Debbeshoek. It brought the elderly some light after the dark corona period.
Elona Kemperman, a carer at De Meulenbeek in Ulft, is the initiator of the light tour. In December, she noticed the influence of a corona outbreak on the residents of the care home. “People had to stay in their rooms for two or three weeks. Couldn’t get out and had no contact with others. I only got there in a white suit, unrecognizable. Then you do the necessary things in terms of care and you go again. All very sad.”
It really was a liberation day. They hugged each other, they were so happy to see each other again
The joy was therefore great when the wave of contamination was over, says Kemperman. ,,I saw so much joy, there was a real feeling of ‘we can go wild again’. Only then did it really become clear to me how lonely those people had been. They hugged each other, were so happy to see each other again. I will never forget that. It really was a liberation day. So nice that it was all possible again.”
To celebrate this ‘liberation’, Kemperman came up with the idea of organizing a light tour along the nursing homes in Genkoppen and Ulft. “I come from a farming village myself, so you quickly think of tractors.”
She took up the challenge with colleague Lianne Wissink and approached farmers’ organization LTO, among others. ,,At first the response was a bit disappointing, but after we made a call on the radio, things got better. At least thirty tractors are taking part in the parade.”
The elderly in the care homes positioned themselves behind the windows to watch the procession of the beautifully lit tractors. That the initiative was appreciated was only apparent from a homemade banner at De Meulenbeek: ‘Thank you farmers!’
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