THE ABANDONED ORPHANAGE IN BELGIUM
This orphanage ‘Kinderopvang Duinen-heide’ in the village As was built in 1917 by the German Army as an officers club. It was a children’s home from 1927 until 2005.
The Officers’ Club was built by the occupying German Air Force during the First World War. It was part of the close-by military airport. In 1919, after the Germans left it was used by the Belgium army as a flight school. During the year 1925 the school closed along with the airport.
In 1927 Baroness Beeckman opened a home for sick children from the city. It was run by the ‘Daughters of Charity’. This was a group women within the Catholic Church, devoted to serving Jesus Christ and who shared their dedication of helping the poor and the sick. In 1970 the buildings were sold. The new owner opened an orphanage, the buildings were named ‘De Stap’. Difficult educable kids and orphans were teached here in As. Later some new classrooms were added to the site. As a result there was more space in the main building where the children had their bedrooms.
In 2005 the site got abandoned due to financial problems, the kids were accommodated elsewhere. Within a few years the whole place was trashed. During 2012 the site is sold to its new owner for 150 thousand euro. The new owner invested 800 thousand euro to redevelop the buildings, they were opened again in 2015. These photos of ‘Kinderopvang Duinen-heide’ were taken in 2007.