The Living Room and volunteer work attract refugees into the community

The center has already begun to close, but is constantly being expanded. In addition to language lessons and the option to play sports or drink coffee, there is now also a bicycle workshop and a clothing outlet.

Bad conditions in the hall

Refugees in emergency shelters recently raised the alarm again about conditions there. About 600 people live there, 150 of whom are children. There is no daylight and the residents do not have privacy as there are no ceilings and doors. This is the reason for the petition.

The Refugee Council believes that refugees should move to another area as soon as possible. The foundation says refugees are being abandoned.

Residence permit

The new space is a much nicer place to stay. The COA also hopes that this will help newcomers master the Dutch language faster. A desirable situation, says Andrew Cornelis of COA.

“At this point in the asylum procedure, this is not a given. Usually people are only offered a language lesson when they have already obtained a permit.”

Connect with the Dutch

In addition to language, volunteering is also very important. That’s why, for example, there is a dedicated park project and COA works hand in hand with all kinds of festivals in the city, like Bosk and Liberation Day. During Luna’s tenure, about 70 refugees have already volunteered.

“We would like people to go out into the world. So they can connect with the Dutch. That’s the best in the end,” says Cornelis.

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