By allowing asylum seekers to participate in activities you show newcomers what living in Utrecht will look like.

Minou Grevink is a first-year HBO Social Work student at the Hogeschool Utrecht. For the past two months she has been working as an intern at Welkom in Utrecht. This is what she writes about it: “During the intake interview I was welcomed by Hellen. Welkom in Utrecht looks closely at where the interests of the volunteer lie, and how they can be used to help the people in the AZC. What I also really liked were the multiple activities where you could help. For example, I once took part in a Zumba class for women, cooked with Eritrean and Ethiopian women from the asylum seekers’ center and helped with language lessons in the Taalcafé of WelnU. Even when new measures were taken around the Corona virus, there was immediately creative thought at WIU about what could still continue, and how we could create new things. What I really like is that they also ask for your ideas. For example, I was able to organize an evening independently.  I paired Dutch girls with girls from the AZC to cook and eat together. In this way you become involved in the organization and you get the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas yourself. What I particularly liked was to be able to talk to all those different asylum seekers and to get to know different cultures better. It is special how friendly and grateful everyone is because you want to contribute to helping them on their way in our society. By allowing asylum seekers to participate in activities in various places in the city of Utrecht, you really take asylum seekers into our city. In this way you show them what life in Utrecht will look like for these newcomers. My internship has now been completed, but I absolutely want to stay involved and continue to volunteer at Welkom in Utrecht.