Many citizens of Utrecht want to help Refugees. Families, colleagues, sports friends, neighbours, organizations, companies, mosques and church communities all help refugees to feel welcome. Do you want to do something yourself? There are many ways to help. You can set up your own initiative, organize an activity or help with existing activities. Want to do something? Please register here. Below you can find examples of a variety of activities offered and helpful info about donations.
Be a buddy
Refugees usually want contact with Dutch people. To improve their Dutch, to be familiar with their new city, to expand their network and simply - because it is nice to have Dutch friends or acquaintances. That is why we regularly ask buddies. We always take into account the needs of the refugee, but also of the Utrecht buddy. And that can be anything. For example, a Geography student helps an Eritrean boy with his homework for his Dutch lessons, an Afghan man and his buddy focus on better learning to write and two ladies regularly do sports together, to talk some Dutch from behind the fitness machines.
There are many refugee families in Utrecht. They too like to learn Dutch and get familiar with the city. We also link Dutch families - so-called family buddies - to refugees. Also in this respect what's being done differs from family to family. Some families cook together once a month, others let their children play together. During these activities they speak Dutch.
In short: it doesn't matter what you want to do, as long as you both enjoys.
We assume that there must be a click between two people who are buddies. We therefore advise you to get to know eachother first over a cup of coffee or tea, freely, without obligation. When it feels good, you continue with each other. If there isn t a 'click', we will get you another buddy. This applies to the Utrecht buddy as much as to the refugee. We always focus on equality.
Do you (or your family) want to become a buddy or receive more information? Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing & meeting
Is your neighbourhood planning a field day? Is your company or organisation planning a social outing? Are you involved in any type of meetup event for people of different backgrounds or languages? Consider inviting azc residents! If you see opportunities or have an idea, click here.
Men, women, old people and young, all like sports. Invite them to join your own intramural team! Do you jog with a group or a run club? Perhaps you can invite azc-residents to join. Do you lift weights or crosstrain? Maybe you would like to offer those services to refugees as well? It would be nice to organize a tournament. Have an idea for one? Please report here.
Help with moving out
At a certain moment refugees got new houses and are ready to move out.
This can be a huge job. Some refugees have problems with language, with choosing the right home appliances or they have problems with transportation. They need a local citizen to help with these issues.
We have an initiative called ‘Verhuispool,’ where local Dutch citizens volunteer help newcomers with the move-in process.
If you want to help, let us know by apping Hellen at: 06 511 923 16.
Cooking & eating
Cooking and having dinner together is a relaxed way to meet others. You could organize a dinner with your family, club, organization, company or institution. Everlasting friendships often come from breaking bread. Like to give it a try? Keep an eye on the website of Stichting Eet Mee. This foundation facilitates eating and cooking meetings where you can join.
Would you like to organize a cooking event or dinner yourself. Consider including refugees. We can help you make contacts. Do you have an idea? Click here.
Arts & crafts
Being busy, creating something wonderful, and expressing yourself through art is a joyful activity. Transfer your skills to others in the fields of knitting, jewelry making, painting or photography, in large groups or on a small scale. Let us know via this form.
Children & youth
All kinds of activities for children in the azc are being organized by COA. Most of them are inside the azc.
Volunteering work COA children’s club in AZC Oog in Al. It's about two groups:
- Every Monday 30 h – 17.45 h (age 4 till 6 years old)
- Every Tuesday 16.30 h – 19.30 h (age 7 till 9 years old)
Activities at the club include theatre/dancing, making handicrafts, playing outside, playing games, et cetera. Beside that, the Kinderclub sometimes organizes trips at the weekends or during holidays.
The children usually do not speak Dutch. Because of the changing of the azc-residents the composition of the group of children changes regularly.
Are you interested? Do you have the following skills and possibilities?
- You have affinity and/or experience with children.
- Every week you are present one hour before the Kinderclub starts and one hour after it ends
- You can work independently
- You have a sense of responsibility
- You have a flexible attitude
Please send an e-mail with your personal details and motivation to Maria Drewes: email@example.com. Volunteers who work at the Kinderclub must give a ‘Verklaring Omtrent Gedrag’ (certificate of good conduct).
If you organize an outside activity for children by yourself, then guidance from parents or tutors will be needed. For youngsters there are several conditions that must be met as well. Teenagers currently not attending school often have nothing to do. They have a great need for activities. Do you have an idea? Let us know via this form.
Goods and clothing
Do you have goods or clothing you want to give to refugees? Here below you find places, stores and organisations where you can deliver the stuff:
‘Het winkeltje’ AZC Joseph Haydnlaan
This 'shop' is run by a group of volunteers.
There is a demand for and educational toys (children's puzzles, building materials such as Lego) and picture books for small children, shoes and winter clothes. But Duvets, fitted sheets, duvet covers and towels are asked for. There is a surplus of plashes and baby toys. The 'shop' doesn't collect clothes nor shoes.
Dropoffs can be made Mondays between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm (preferably between 11:00 to 1:00 pm) hours at AZC Joseph Haydnlaan 2, 3533 AE Utrecht. 'Het Winkeltje' is closed during holidays.Please make sure the goods and clothes you would like to donate are clean and without defects.
If you would like to donate clothes to refugees: clothing deposited in the Salvation Army Reshare containers also often goes to refugees.
To furnish their homes, newcomers frequently buy their goods and furniture in so called Weggeefwinkels and kringloopwinkels (Shops where you can take goods for free and second hand shops)
Tweede Daalsedijk 2a
Every Wednesday and Saturday from 2:00 to 5:00
For more info, click here.
Utrecht Weggeeftafel in Podium Oost
Click here for more information
Buurthuis Rosa Malakkastraat is also a good place to drop donations. It’s known among refugees for good finds for free. Click here for more information.
Or check out the many facebook pages where goods are offered for free, like Gratis ophalen in Utrecht en Omgeving.