As Europe faces the worst refugee crisis since WW2, we are now helping relieve the pressure on the Netherlands’ asylum system by operating from within a Dutch refugee reception centre for the first time.
As of July 1, we started collaborating with COA (the Netherlands’ refugee reception service), working inside Reception Centre Budel – the country’s second-largest facility. Together, we’ll work alongside residents from the centre to create a safer, healing and more dignified environment.
Since 2015 we’ve been working in refugee camps across Greece and now we’ll apply our proven holistic, inclusive and cost-efficient model of refugee reception to help ease pressure on the overwhelmed Dutch system.
“By engaging residents in the day-to-day running of their environment – having them manage the food lines, shower facilities and waste management systems while also partaking in education and sports programmes – we’re giving people a sense of purpose. Together we’re creating a community where everyone feels included. When you have an environment of harmony, the stress on the entire asylum system [inside and outside the centre’s walls] is suddenly relieved too.”
Our innovative approach to refugee reception, dubbed “Camp to CampUs”, is currently the benchmark for refugee reception in three camps across the Aegean Islands and in unaccompanied minors' homes in Athens, Poland and The Netherlands.
Last month UNHCR announced that the number of refugees in the world now exceeds 100 million. In Holland, numbers have swelled to more than 41,0000 - not including people who have fled Ukraine - and pressure is mounting on the Dutch government to act.
“There is a crisis in Holland. The asylum system is completely overrun, and the Dutch authorities are struggling for answers,” said Izemrane.
“The asylum situation in Holland resembles what it was like the past years in Greece. We have people who have spent one year in a reception centre that’s designed for a maximum of nine days. Something must change, not only in Holland but on a European policy level.”
Any contribution helps us in our mission to provide a dignified, innovative and sustainable response to the refugee crisis that benefits both refugees and host populations.
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