These last couple of months our community has welcomed many new members that are rebuilding their lives after fleeing from their own country. To adapt and adjust to their new country, they are looking for people that can teach them Dutch language and culture. And our wonderful community has responded enthusiastically!

Heba, a bright 19-year old from Syria, fled from her home country and has been living in the Netherlands for the past eight months. She used Konnektid to find someone that wanted to help her improve her Dutch so she could eventually start studying medicine. She received an offer from her neighbour Gerlinde (21) and now the young women meet up regularly and have become good friends.

Heba: “As a refugee I found Konnektid very helpful. Through the platform I found Gerlinde, who has become my friend. My Dutch language is better now and every time we meet, we talk about different topics. Dutch is very important for my study and of course it’s the first step to becoming part of Dutch society.” Gerlinde, a student herself, wanted to help refugees feel welcome in the Netherlands and was keen to help. “I meet up with Heba to help her with her homework for her Dutch course and we talk a lot about the differences between the Netherlands and Syria. And we both love to play guitar so I am teaching her some popular Dutch songs!”

Heba playing ‘Mag ik dan bij jou’

“To connect people from different backgrounds often leads to very valuable and inspiring meetings,” says Michel Visser, founder of Konnektid. “By helping refugees find people that can teach them about Dutch language and culture we allow them to familiarize themselves with their new home country. And refugees also have great stories and knowledge to share, so by exchanging skills we can learn a lot from each other.” Or as Gerlinde put it: “I really enjoy helping someone like this and it has taught me quite a lot as well!”

If you want to help refugees or want to learn more about Dutch society, you can join the Konnektid Group FocusForward.