Welkom in Utrecht coordinates and facilitates activities for asylum migrants in the Utrecht Region offered voluntarily by residents and organizations. Activities range from sports, music, cooking, chores, walking and much more. It speaks for itself that we collaborate with the people it’s all about - the refugees - where and whenever we can. Refugees are involved in activity organization, outreach and execution.
Welkom in Utrecht manages to connect supply and demand of activities. You might see us around, but most of our work is done behind the scenes. We go to great lengths to reach our goals. Basically, we do it all, as long as it’s safe and meets the needs of refugees. If someone somewhere is not being provided for, we often make targeted calls on our facebook page Welkom in Utrecht.
Utrecht citizens and organizations who want to organize an activity, can register by filling out our form, by mail or on our facebook page. We then reach out to the residents of the azc and encourage them to participate in your activity.
When refugee-focused organizations need manpower or donations, we forward their calls on facebook. For example, take a look at the Experiences sector on our website or our Facebook page, where you can find posts about fun and eye-catching events organized by partner organizations.
At the moment, we are working mostly for the residents of the AZC locations on Joseph Haydn Laan and its Ravellaan annex. Starting in 2017, we will do the same for the temporary AZC at Einsteindreef in Overvecht. Permitholders already living independently in a house or studio are also regularly organize and participate in our activities.
We warmly welcome asylum seekers in Utrecht to smoothen their integration. Involving local residents from the Utrecht region is crucial. Building contacts within the Dutch society is essential to independent living. Integrated newcomers will have a greater opportunity to learn the Dutch language, build up a network, make friends, get a proper education and find a job. A network of Dutch friends and acquaintances provides a much needed feeling of security in new surroundings. Furthermore, local friendships provide the opportunity to learn Dutch norms and values straight from the source. The refugee experience is marked by waiting: for a permit, a house, a family reunion. As such, it is physically and psychologically healthy to stay busy and make contact with the people in their surroundings. Moreover, it is important for citizens of Utrecht to meet asylum seekers. This contact contributes to more understanding and tolerance for the newcomers, necessary for a peaceful and positive civil society. At the end of the day, joining activities, doing sports, eating together with locals is just plain fun.
The core team of Foundation Welkom in Utrecht consists of Katinka Jesse, Hellen Kooijman, Rebecca de Kuijer and Frank van Soest. They are responsible for the daily affairs.
This year intern Anne van der Hulst is helping. We cooperate with several volunteers. At present, these are Marc Speijers, Hannah de Lange, Adib Alkhatib en Edriss Popal. Furthermore Rami Ramou, Hani Daher, Zahraa, Filmon Mihretu, Wassim Zughbi, Eline Bosch, Hanan Karmo and Leonie van Bruggen play a very active role as well.
The activities and initiatives that Utrecht Welcome helps to promote are undertaken by many concerned Utrechters, individually or as a group. We also work closely with various organizations. Direct partners are Vluchtelingen Werk Midden Nederland and Vrijwilligerscentrale Utrecht. Other organizations we regularly are working with are sportclubs, welfare organizations and Resto van Harte.
The (unpaid) Board of the Foundation consists of: Nienke Brands (Secretary), Oscar Bremer (Treasurer) and Frauke de Weijer (Chairman).
How it began
In September 2015, many people in Utrecht felt the urge to do something for the large group of refugees who came to our country. The current core team of Welkom in Utrecht then started the Facebook page Welkom in Utrecht. The page served as a meeting place for concerned Utrechters and a podium for ideas and and initiatives.
Immediately after the opening of the emergency shelter in the Jaarbeurs, Welkom in Utrecht grew into a platform for anybody that wanted to engage in activities for and with refugees in Utrecht. The municipality supported the platform. We then partnered with Uvoorvluchtelingen.nl, a website aiming to strengthen the involvement of Utrecht when it comes to refugees.
Dozens of organizations and hundreds of concerned citizens have organized activities in the field of arts and culture, sports, small meetings or language courses. Efforts were initially focused on residents in the Jaarbeurs center and, until May 2016, for people living in the azc at Amerikalaan (Kanaleneiland). The majority of the events organized were facilitated and coordinated by Welkom in Utrecht. In July of 2016, Welkom in Utrecht officially assumed its current form, a foundation structurally committed providing activities for asylum seeking migrants.
We would like to thank all those who helped Welkom in Utrecht manage to get the ball rolling in the early stages. Hundreds come to mind, so we must stick to those integrally involved in the first half year of developing the platform: the coordinators Annemiek, Dayna, Kim, Maryam and Iris; the people behind Uvoorvluchtelingen.nl: Dylan, Esther, Robbert, Saskia and Wim; the people of the project management office of the municipality: Jeanine, Kitty, Fadua, Miriam, Helen and Marjolein.
Several initiatives launched in the first period still exist today as autonomous organizations, such as the New Neighbours facebooknetwork and the Naaiatelier van Hagar tot Ruth.
ANBI and general information
Stichting Welkom In Utrecht is considered by the Tax Administration as a Public Benefit Organisation. (ANBI).
Stichting Welkom in Utrecht complies with the Governance Code welfare and social services. The foundation has a supervisory board.
Employees of the Welcome Foundation in Utrecht are rewarded in accordance with CAO Welfare & Social Services. The board performs its duties completely unpaid.
Click here for the Beleidsplan 2017-2020. Among other things, the aim, mission and vision of Welkom in Utrecht are described in this document. Click here for the Jaarekening 2016 and here for the annual report of 2016.
Chamber of Commerce Number: 66219655.
Tax Code (RSIN): 856448394.
Bank account number: NL50 TRIO 0391 1807 38.
Rebecca de Kuijer
Frank van Soest
Office and visiting address
Einsteindreef 91 / 93
3562 GB Utrecht
Stichting Welkom in Utrecht
Nummer van Kamer van Koophandel: 66219655.
Fiscaal nummer (RSIN): 856448394.
Bankrekeningnummer: NL50 TRIO 0391 1807 38.