Bringing social cohesion and integration to Slotervaart
Well known for being a very diverse neighborhood, Slotervaart is also observing a growing number of status holders. It is attracting many new residents through the construction of new homes and facilities, embracing new families and students. However, this dynamic also brings new challenges, for example, Slotervaart scores relatively low on the urban average concerning social cohesion. Residents do not always feel safe and the interaction between old and new residents is minimal (Gebiedsgerichte Uitwerkingen – GGU 2020).
Karmijn is a housing complex where status holders (refugees with residence permits) and young Dutch people live together. The goal of Karmijn is for all residents to feel at home and to live together in harmony, building a community. Road of Hope will develop the Breath of Hope project to help young status holders who live in the two buildings that make up Karmijn. From September, we will be there once a week in order to run reflection group meetings and to provide further assistance to the refugees living there. Our goal is to understand the demands of the residents, to guide newcomers through their problems, to help women with small children, and to be a bridge between the status holders and the European students. Such challenges drive us to work harder and moreover, offer us an exciting opportunity to help those in Karmijn.
Road of Hope is currently working in different spaces provided by our partners and the municipality. Through Stichting SamenWomen SamenLeven we run activities in the Ru Paré building in Slotervaart Noord, and in De Honingraat in Slotermeer with the municipality, both in the Amsterdam Nieuw West district. The Karmijn, in Slotervaart, will become the third location for Road of Hope, broadening our ability to help the community.