Slotervaart is a neighborhood in the western part of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It has been hit hard by the corona crisis. The unemployment rate at 13% is higher than elsewhere in Amsterdam. Moreover, many of the unemployed in Slotervaart have been out of the workforce for a long time. Plans to do something about this started before the corona crisis. Despite the unprecedented situation brought on by corona, a beautiful initiative has emerged in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Eight neighborhood organizations have joined forces and set up a cooperation. In the coming period, the members of the cooperative will do their very best to guide local residents into the labour market. The eight organizations all bring in their own knowledge and expertise in order to strengthen the cooperation and create an effective methodology to successfully guide people to paid work.
As one of the eight organizations, Road of Hope will guide refugees into the labour market. We have started doing intakes with participants in order to understand how to help them towards a paid job. This intake is the first phase of Samen aan de slag approach. We learn about their talents and aspirations, in order to provide workshops focused on preparing them to the Dutch labour market. Those workshops will be given by professionals and Road of Hope will guide participants individually. An important part of this cooperation is focused on ‘aftercare’; each participant will have a mentor, which means that in case a refugee faces a struggle or a doubt they will have a person to count on to help with their needs. March marks the beginning of this new endeavor and we are very excited to be part of it.