In order to help refugees find long term housing more quickly, the Tussenvoorziening in Eelde has developed a new approach to help them start learning Dutch and getting acclimated to the culture from day one.
Translation by Traci White
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that the new system is being rolled out at the Tussenvoorziening, a facility in Eelde. The facility is an intermediary location for newcomers to get oriented with the region. “The programme is focused on people who have been granted a residence permit and can therefore stay in the country. The idea behind the programme is the more quickly men and women are familiar with Dutch society, the more quickly they can find long term housing.
The Tussenvoorziening has been open for two years and is run by the Inlia Foundation. John van Tilborg, director of the Inlia Foundation, says, “We receive people here who have come straight from refugee camps in Turkey and have been granted a residence permit. They get a day to settle in, and then they immediately start taking Dutch and integration classes.”
Unique in the Netherlands
Van Tilborg says that this accelerated approach is unique in the Netherlands and is being subsidised by the ministry of justice. “It’s a pilot test to see how the system can better respond to the fluctuating numbers of people coming here at different times”, according to a spokesperson for the ministry.
The pilot launched in August and is set to run until July of 2019. The Tussenvoorziening is located at the former Dutch Flight Academy in Drenthe and is run primarily by volunteers who help with language lessons, teaching people how to bike and helping them get acquainted with local cultural norms.
Photo source: Screenshot from Tussenvoorziening video by Kerk in Actie