Spring 2017: New beginnings for migrants
Dear ACCESS readers,
Within the international community, migration is our greatest common denominator. There came a day when we packed up our former lives and closed the door behind us. Most of us moved by choice, for opportunity, for career or love or broadening horizons. Our stories are similar and usually successful. Yet so many have moved for harsher, unfortunate reasons, as a result of serious circumstances of war, violence, famine, and grief, and with little idea of what lies ahead.
Who are the refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands now? How are they being integrated into the culture and lifestyle? For our cover story, Kelly Merks provides us with a thorough update on the status of these migrants, including stories from those with firsthand experience, and examples of civic programmes in the Netherlands that are embracing this community for the best of new beginnings. Daniella Gidaly shares more on how we can, as individuals, pay it forward, like the Dutch and international locals in a community of The Hague who are ensuring a smooth and welcoming transition for refugees.
We invite you to become familiar with a variety of cheerful topics in this edition. Samantha Warnaar teaches us about noisy—uh, sorry, charming—Dutch street organs, and Tracey Taylor has put together a delightful presentation to the province of Zeeland. Our Counselling Service Network introduces a new option for group therapy in English.
We’re also excited to unveil the first Our View photo contest, brought to you by the volunteers of ACCESS. Following the concept of migration, our theme was Movement, which takes many shapes, sizes, colours and emotions. Enjoy the works of our three finalists who have won prizes from The wonderful world of the stroopwafel; Stuff Dutch People Like; and We Are Public.
The Summer photo contest is open to the international community. ACCESS wants to share your view of the Netherlands, our current home. Check contest rules and deadlines for your chance to participate. Good luck!
Mandie van der Meer-Danielski, Editor ACCESS Magazine