Volunteering resources from The Netherlands

Campaign: “Wanted - Part Time Hero” – Dutch Refugee Council

In 2011, the NGO Dutch Refugee Council (VluchtlingenWerk) noticed that recruiting new volunteers was becoming more challenging, and that its volunteers were increasingly drawn from older Dutch people.  

As a result, they established a campaign - 'Wanted: Part Time Hero' - that aimed to recruit volunteers under the age of 55 and from more ethnically diverse backgrounds. The organisation launched an online campaign through a dedicated website at www.parttimeheld.nl, via which interested individuals could apply online to become volunteers, indicate the activities they would like to take part in and the amount of time they could make available.

For a summary of the Part Time Hero campaign, click here.

“A refugee never forgets his first volunteer. It is his hero. Everyone can become a volunteer; it will only take a few hours of your time each week. And the fun thing is that you get a lot out of it. You get work experience, learn to know new cultures, you learn what you are good at or what you like to do and create a social network” Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland

Tesfa Micheal & Ada - 'language couple' in Mijdrecht © Tim Stet

First aid with building a new life:

When refugees are accepted to stay in the Netherlands they can start building their new life. However that is not always straightforward and easy to do in our complicated and bureaucratic society. The volunteers of the Dutch Refugee Council help refugees with the first steps in building their new life, with finding a home, finding a school for the children, filling out paperwork, learning the language, finding a job etc. The below video demonstrates how this works.

For more general information on the work of the Dutch Refugee Council and its volunteers in assisting refugees to integrate, please visit their website.