- What we do?
- Assistance and Visiting program
- Education: Vocational training
- Facilitating Integration program
- Support Program
What we do
Road of Hope wants to provide a particular way of welcoming, where we hear and walk-along with our beneficiaries to help them overcome difficult experiences. Every service act or intervention is based on the principle of fellowship, believing that men and women should live in community and solidarity, with dignity and safety. Our work is developed through five main actions: welcoming, bonding, empowering, supporting and facilitating (image bellow).
Welcoming with compassion and empathy is the way to unconditional acceptance and restoration. We receive each refugee in an individualized and personalized way, respecting the particularity of each culture.
Bonding is the secret of our work. For various reasons, refugees find it difficult to rely entirely on the system and the people who are available to help. As we walk with them, showing through our actions that we have a real interest in helping them, we are able to build trust and a bond of reciprocity. In this relationship of trust, we can better identify their needs and the best way to help them.
Empowerment was quickly identified as an urgent need. Difficulty in learning Dutch, for example, directly affects the integration process and makes individual experience even more difficult. Our training program is designed according to identified needs and is constantly adapting. Our methodology helps to overcome barriers and gaps in traditional systems. Supporting refugees in the emotional sphere is crucial to making the process more effective. Helping to overcome emotional barriers that block integration represents our commitment to a more humanized process. We work to ensure that integration happens effectively and with the least amount of suffering possible. It is impressive how much the suffering associated with the integration process brings previous traumas, such as the one from war, to bear and catalyzes the present suffering.
Facilitating cultural understanding between refugees and local society is essential and requires a lot of work. We help refugees understand the local culture, the administrative system and the paths to integration. At the same time, we work to get the local community to understand refugees' reality, clarifying unfounded perceptions and inviting them to get more involved in the process.
Thus, taking each main action into account our different programs are designed to assist them with their integration and personal growth, as our commitment is to ensure that every refugee be attended in their needs, taking seriously and valuing the concerns of the host communities and service-providers and newcomers, being a bridge between the two realities and worldviews.
Assistance and Visiting programNewcomers usually have struggles concerning the new culture and new reality, where they can face the emotional distress and a sense of not belonging. Personal visits to their homes is so crucial, therefore, Road of Hope Assistance and Visiting program focus on the establishment of a better connection with their daily needs, recognising their reality and aspirations.
We do an interview right when we meet and receive refugees – we usually carry out those interviews at the refugee’s home. We make sure that the person who is going to lead the visits and interview at the first stage knows Arabic and has knowledge and experience of immersion with the Arabic culture. We take this opportunity to collect important information and to learn about the real needs of the individual or family. Right from the beginning, we are able to build a bond through empathy and trust.
At the follow-up visits, we provide assistance according to their needs, also accompany and advise refugees in gaining and managing access to public services and assist with translation in dealing with bureaucratic problems and attending medical appointments. We are also able to assist with their questions about cultural issues.
- Welcoming Visits
- Follow-up Visits
- Support to understanding and access public services
- Follow-ups by telephone
- Communication and liaison with Government Agencies
Education: Vocational trainingArriving and living in a new place involve facing new challenges in different areas of life. To name but the most obvious, they imply learning a new language, new culture, meeting new people and living in a diverse place. Thus, in Road of Hope, we believe that a precursor for successful integration is to have a basic understanding of the Dutch language and be able to communicate in Dutch. Furthermore, we recognize that in order to learn a complete different language better, one needs an intermediate language to which to relate. Therefore, our organization is producing its own teaching materials in Dutch-Arabic based on plans and studies.
Moreover, English class is offered due to a lack of possible communication between refugees and local society. Therefore, being English an easier language to learn, as most of them already had studied at school, English will be used as a bridge to establish new relationships and to Dutch learning process.
We also offer different classes, workshops, lectures and group coaching sessions focused on building skills for the job market, recognizing an individual refugee’s expertise and expectations in light of local opportunities. Due to limited language barriers and/or differences in the job market, the majority of refugees do not find jobs in their professional careers and need to start a new path in a reality that is very different than the one from which they come. Therefore, our goal is to present to refugees the Dutch job market and environment little by little by offering vocational coaching, and, at the same time, establish partnerships that may ease the process of finding employment.
- Dutch classes
- English classes
- Group coaching
- Vocational counseling
- Lectures and workshops
- Professional courses
- Interface with companies
Facilitating Integration program
Social and cultural understanding
Newcomers usually have struggles concerning the new culture and new reality, where they can face the emotional distress and a sense of not belonging. Refugees allowed to stay in the host society and already living in urban areas, not in refugee camps, require a special support to find themselves, to adapt and to acquire the new way of life.
To this end we provide individualized support during follow-up visits and we offer workshops about bureaucracies and procedures in the Netherlands. From how to use internet banking, take public transportation, get water and electricity service, file taxes and toeslag (allowance), taxes, huisarts (family doctor) and schools. Each of the workshops that we offer addresses a topic and has and environment conducive to making friends and learning new customs.
We invite people from the local community to participate in these events by encouraging cultural exchange and mutual understanding. We are also creating a support network in which these representatives of the local community can establish contact with the refugees in order to provide assistance in specific situations or to be conversational partners in Dutch.
Social activitiesWe encourage participation in local cultural events and we promote events that facilitate cultural exchange. We also promote the "Grand Bazaar of Road of Hope.” At this event, the local community has the opportunity to engage with the cause of the refugees and interact with them, promoting valuable interactions and breaking down barriers. We also donate clothes to refugees in need.
Our next step is to promote workshops, lectures, debates and other initiatives that help raise awareness and disseminate the reality of refugees in the local community. Despite the willingness of the Dutch to assist in humanitarian causes, there is still a gap in understanding the reality of refugees and their impact on local society.
- Cultural Activities
Emotional Support and Identity Rebuilding
Refugees have a high rate of psychological problems stemming from the traumatic experiences of having faced war, leaving their countries and living in refugee camps for a period of time. Depression and hopelessness constantly drain their strength and cause certain paralysis, further hindering the whole process of learning and adapting to this new reality.
All of our courses and activities are developed to facilitate interaction between people, encouraging interpersonal relationships and creating a network of mutual support. The involvement of refugees in various activities has brought surprising results. That is why we constantly challenge those who are more integrated to support those who are newcomers. We take every opportunity to work on topics such as self-esteem, identity, community, self-confidence and rebuilding a path to hope.
During the visits and interviews, we clearly identify their need to talk about their personal and emotional life in a safe and structured environment that helps them to repurpose life. In order to meet this demand, we carry out individual psychological support and group support as well. The groups gather during a set plan of meetings followed by a time of discussion. That is when participants can share their experiences, concerns, traumas, and other issues (difficulties with local language, culture and behavior, public services providers and resources, and public services in general).
The strength of the young woman: Empowering a generation.
The women we serve often find it difficult to find their place in Western society, due to cultural differences and barriers. We provide meetings and opportunities in which they can share about life, fears and desires, focusing on welcoming, accepting who they are as well as learning about the new culture, how to navigate in the new society in order to contribute to it.
Thus, hairdressing, handicraft and make-up courses can be powerful tools in this program. It can provide an outlet to stress, create opportunities for fellowshipping and potential future employment, giving back a sense of external value and beauty, even helping overcome traumas. Further, offering to women activities outside their homes, creating an alternative and cheerful space. The classes happen twice a week with theoretical and practical lessons.
- Support Groups
- Individual and Family Counselling
- Courses, lectures, recreational activities
- Handcrafts and artistic activities
- Workshops: “The strength of the young woman: Empowering a generation”