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Voluntary work by asylum seekers and status holders

Volunteer Centre Utrecht assists asylum seekers and status holders - people who have come to the Netherlands as refugees and who live in the asylum seekers' centre or independently - in finding suitable voluntary work. Volunteering offers structure and a meaningful contribution to society and helps with language acquisition and integration in Utrecht society. Participating organisations can make use of the talents of these New Utrechters.

We offer two types of volunteer work:

  1. Group jobs 'Getting Started': occasional, low-threshold, often practical jobs, such as working in the garden, cooking, painting, activities with the elderly and helping with festivals. These jobs take place under the supervision of a Dutch-speaking employee or volunteer from the volunteer centre and often with several New Utrecht residents at the same time.
  2. Structural volunteering: individual volunteering on a regular basis (usually a part of a day a week) and for a longer period of time. After placement, the Nieuwe Utrechter goes to the organisation independently. The volunteer centre disappears into the background.

Group jobs and structural volunteering for asylum seekers and status holders

Group jobs for asylum seekers: 'Getting started

Together with the Pharos Foundation, expertise centre for health differences in Utrecht, we started the 'Aan de Slag' project in 2014. Asylum seekers have little to worry about during their stay in asylum seekers' centres and this affects their (experienced) health and psychological well-being. Activation, participation and being meaningful, helping with vitality, learning the Dutch language, integration and preventing psychosocial problems.

  • Group jobs are offered to asylum seekers, residents of the AZC, but also status holders (people who already live independently) can participate. We offer a number of voluntary activities on a weekly basis.
  • The language level is not important: we work together with volunteers who help us with translations, including in Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinya, Somali, Turkish, Kurdish and Persian.
  • Our volunteers accompany the New Utrechters from door to door during the volunteer work. They pick up a group of New Utrechters at the AZC, make the connection between the New Utrechters and the host organization, guide the New Utrechters during the job and bring the participants back to the AZC afterwards.

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