Abd is waiting for a home, just like hundreds of other status holders During the open AZC-day, I visited the former Bijlmer Bajes. There, I met Abd. Abd is an architect from Syria who arrived in the Netherlands one year ago. After having lived in several asylum seeking centers, he recently received his status. However, just like hundreds of other status holders, he’s still waiting for a home. Because after newcomers receive their status, it can easily take up to six months before they get their own place. During this period of time, it’s very difficult for them to become part of the Dutch society. “Before you get your house, you can’t do anything. For example, you can’t start a professional language course or apply for a job. This makes it very difficult for us to integrate”, Abd says. Despite of the difficulties, Abd is trying the best he can. He tells me that his Dutch friends have helped him a lot. “They’ve really helped me to find my way around the Netherlands. We do things together, like going on picnics, and have many conversations. This is great, because I have loads of questions. About transport, university, jobs, traditions and habits. Through our talks, we’ve been able to understand each other a lot better.” According to Abd, this contact is key for successful integration. Therefore, he fully supports what Takecarebnb is doing and emphasizes the importance of newcomers being able to stay with locals. “I think it’s a great idea for newcomers to live with a Dutch host family for three months whilst they’re waiting for their own home”, he says. “It will help you to discover how the Dutch really live. How they eat, drink, and behave, what they do and how they look at things. It will help you to truly become part of the society.” And that’s exactly what Abd wants: to start over. Do you want to help a newcomer like Abd to build a new life in the Netherlands? Then becoming a host family might just be the thing for you!
Mandy FitAbd