Category: Uncategorized

Yalla Foundation nodigt je uit om deel te nemen aan onze maandelijkse sociale schrijfsessies.

Yalla Foundation launches the writing project Opus

On Saturday, 30th of January, Yalla Foundation kicked off its new project, Opus, whose main goal is building up communities using the writing passion as a bridge to connect students, newcomers and refugees. The project comprises ten meetings, of two hours, where the participants discuss relevant social themes and come up with texts that represent their vision on a certain topic.

“What is home for you?” was the theme of the first session, which brought up deep feelings and connections established between the participants and Nijmegen. The different nationalities and experiences of the group contributed to a diverse understanding of the city, with special focus on its inclusiveness, cultural diversity and relationship with nature.

The meetings take place once a month, on Saturdays, from 13:00 to 15:00. Due to Corona-virus pandemic, the meetings are currently online, through Zoom platform. If you are interested, please join us any time! You can find more information and the register form at Do you have questions? Please do not hesitate to send us an email! or

Below you can check the schedule for the next meetings of Opus. We hope to see you there!

  • 27th February – Identity & Diversity
  • 27th March – Stereotypes & Discrimination
  • 24th April – Human Rights
  • 22nd May – Women & Men
  • 19th June – Relationships
  • 11th September – Student & Work-life
  • 16th October – Culinary Culture
  • 13th November – Participant’s Theme
  • 27th November – Exhibition

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Writing workshop for Newcomers in Nijmegen

Writing workshop for Newcomers in Nijmegen

Do you like to write? Then join the Writing Workshop for Newcomers in Nijmegen, Utrecht or Antwerp.

Come and write stories, poems or columns. In Dutch.

You get help from a professional writer.

Your best texts appear in a booklet.

The Writing Workshop for Newcomers is free, you don’t have to pay anything!

Especially for adults who are learning Dutch.

Antwerp writing workshop meetings:
November 24, December 1, December 8, December 15, January 5, January 12, January 19, January 26, February 2 and February 9.

Writing workshop meetings Nijmegen:
November 26, December 3, December 10, December 17, January 7, January 14, January 21, January 28, February 4, February 11.

Meetings Writing workshop Utrecht:
Nov 27, Dec 4, Dec 11, Dec 18, Jan 8, Jan 15, Jan 22, Jan 29, Feb 5, Feb 12.

The writers are :

Would you like more information? Or do you want to participate?
Email, WhatsApp or call:
Noortje Kessels

Do you know anyone for whom this could be of interest? Pass it on


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mental-health-for refugees

what are the Psychological symptoms?

what are the Psychological symptoms?

How do I know that I have psychological symptoms?

Everyone sometimes feels sad or anxious. That is normal. However, have you been unable to get out of bed for days? Do you have no appetite, sleeping problems or recurring intrusive negative thoughts? Are you overly anxious about specific situations, things in your past or the future and are you unable to function properly due to these symptoms? Do you have nightmares or flashbacks of events that you have experienced? Maybe you suffer from a psychiatric disorder. But how do you recognize that?

The most common mental disorders are depression, anxiety disorders, ADHD, autism, personality disorders and somatisation disorders. A diagnosis of these disorders in the Netherlands is usually made based on a standard book, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Psychiatric Diseases (DSM-5), which lists the symptoms associated with each disorder.

A depressive disorder is characterized by five or more of the following symptoms, of which at least one must be a sad mood or loss of interest and pleasure. The symptoms must last for at least two weeks.

  • Weight loss or increase
  • Sleep problems (too little or too much)
  • Fatigue, loss of energy
  • Worthlessness or guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness
  • Recurring thoughts of death

Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety and concerns that are present for six months and relate to events or activities. Further symptoms are:

  • Difficulty in controlling anxiety
  • Restlessness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and / or sleeping disorder
  • Restrictions in (e.g. social or professional) functioning

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise when an experience, in which you are (repeatedly) exposed to an actual or imminent death, cannot be properly processed. The symptoms are a natural response to a serious threat, but they persist after the threat ends. Typical symptoms are:

  • Increased irritability
  • Nightmares and flashbacks related to the traumatic experience
  • Avoid incentives associated with the trauma
  • Negative thoughts and mood

Personality disorders are described as a lasting pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that clearly deviate from the expectations within the culture of those involved. The patterns are sustainable in a sense that they usually have been present since childhood.

Somatisation is the experience of psychosocial discomfort that manifests itself in physical symptoms. There is no medical cause for physical symptoms. While body and mind are usually seen as two separate things in the Netherlands, there is often more overlap between them in Eastern cultures. In these cultures, psychological symptoms are therefore often expressed physically.

How do I deal with a psychological diagnosis?

In the intake phase (the first sessions) questions are asked and possibly tests and questionnaires are taken to see if you meet the DSM-5 criteria for a certain disorder. If this is the case, you will receive a diagnosis of one or more disorders. This means that your treatment can be reimbursed by health insurances (once your own risk budget is used up). Then, a treatment that has scientifically proven to be effective for this disorder can be offered.

During the diagnostic phase, often difficult life experiences are discussed. It can be difficult to be confronted with this. Acceptance of life events and a diagnosis is a process. You can compare it to learning how to deal with loss. Acceptance is hard work. Receiving a diagnosis has an impact on your life. It can also happen that you are alone in the process of acceptance. It can then be useful to take family members or other important people with you to your therapist. This way they can get information about your diagnosis and can better understand what you are going through. Ideas that you have about what the diagnosis entails and about the treatment can hinder its acceptance. For example, if you think that use of medication or psychological treatments are a sign of weakness.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross distinguishes several steps in the acceptance process:

  • Denial
  • Anger and/or resistance
  • Negotiating with yourself
  • Depression/disappointment
  • Acceptance

This process of acceptance is not static. You do not have to start with denial and finish with acceptance. It often happens that people go forth and back between the several steps of acceptance. There is no “standard” to be given for the duration of the acceptance process and when you should “finish” accepting.

Acceptance is important, it helps you to change and get better. For example, if you have the idea “Nothing is wrong with me, others have a problem with me”, you will have less motivation to get started. As a result, things stay as they are. Acceptance can also give rest. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. You can try to use your strengths as much as possible and learn to deal with your weaknesses.

Movie of the WHO “Living with a black dog called depression”:

There is still a lot of stigma on psychological complaints. While mental disorders, including depression, for example, are common in the Netherlands and are often accepted, there is often still a taboo about mental disorders in other cultures. In collectivist cultures, for example, both the person who has a mental disorder and his/her family members can be excluded. In addition, different cultures deal with mental disorders in different ways. For example, in Western cultures (such as the Netherlands), depression is generally attributed to internal disturbances in a person, while depression in Eastern cultures is seen more as an interpersonal disturbance. There are psychological institutions that specifically take cultural factors into account (for example, i-psy in Arnhem/Nijmegen).

Mental health in the Netherlands – What steps should I take if I want to request psychological help?

If you suspect that you have a mental illness you first have to go to the doctor. Here you can be referred to the “mental health practice support” (POH-GGZ) or directly to a psychologist’s practice. The POH-GGZ is in the same building of the general practitioner. He or she is usually a psychologist who will have some supportive conversations with you to get you back on track. If it turns out that more help is needed, you can still be referred to a psychologist’s practice. In psychologist practices, a distinction is made between basic and specialist mental health care. Mental health care in the Netherlands is usually offered ambulant. This means that you continue to live at home and usually have an appointment with your practitioner once a week.

In basic mental health care, you come across relatively simple, mild symptoms that can be relieved within a few (usually eight) sessions. You will end up in specialist mental healthcare if you suffer from a combination of different symptoms. Often basic and specialist mental healthcare are also put together in a psychologist’s practice. During the intake procedure, it is determined how serious your symptoms are and how many sessions with your therapist you will need.

There are also psychological practices that are specifically aimed at intercultural target groups. They have practitioners who speak different languages ​​and can often treat patients in their mother tongue. The practitioners often have a migration background themselves. I-psy, for example, is an organization with various branches throughout the Netherlands (including Arnhem and Nijmegen) that offers psychological help for refugees and migrants. It is therefore often the case that you are referred there by your doctor. However, there are other organizations that take cultural differences into account in the treatment of mental disorders.


The process: from registration to treatment

If you are registered with a psychologist’s practice (such as i-psy for example) you will be invited for an intake interview within a few weeks. This is a conversation in which as much information as possible about your symptoms, you as a person and your environment are retrieved. The more you dare to share, the better the picture of your situation can be estimated. A diagnosis is made based on this in consultation with the team. This diagnosis is explained to you during a second appointment.

During this second session, the form of treatment that you will receive will also be briefly explained and it will be discussed whether you also need appointments with the psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is not the same as a psychologist. The psychiatrist’s job is to prescribe medication, while the psychologist provides conversational therapy and may not prescribe medication.

After the consultation, you will be placed on the waiting list. If you prefer a therapist who speaks your native language, this may mean that you will have to wait a few months for a place at this practitioner. If you do not have a language preference, you will be treated faster. The practitioners all speak Dutch and a translator can always be called who translates the conversation live into your native language.

The next session is an introduction to your therapist. The main goal of this session is that you get to know your therapist and the treatment plan will be discussed. There will be room for any questions and doubts from your side. After this session, treatment can start, provided that both you and your therapist agree. The therapy sessions can take place weekly or every other week. The sessions usually last between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. If both you and your practitioner think that the treatment has had sufficient effect, an evaluation session will follow at the end and the treatment can be finished.

What forms of therapy are there?

The most common form of therapy in the Netherlands is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This therapy is based on the view that our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are all interrelated and that if you change one, the others automatically change. In this therapy, negative thoughts are automatically challenged and behaviour is changed, for example through exposure to frightened situations and experiencing that the feared outcome does not occur. Different forms of CBT have been found to be effective in scientific research for various disorders.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a widely-used form of therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD; see the heading “How do I notice that I have psychological symptoms?”). With this form of treatment, you are asked to think of a specific moment of the traumatic event and then your working memory is derived. This can be done, for example, by a dot that you follow with your eyes from left to right or by a sound that you hear through headphones. As a result, the memory will be newly recoded and the emotional charge will decrease or diappear.

Schema therapy is often used for personality disorders. If there are problems in the family or at school, systemic therapy can be effective. This can be a treatment where you and your partner or children go to the treatment sessions and the interaction in the family will be the focus. Relatively new are forms of therapy based on mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being in the moment, being aware of your body and accepting negative sensations, thoughts, or feelings. On YouTube, there are numerous videos with mindfulness meditations or “body scans” that you could try out. The treatment methods described here are not exhaustive and new treatment methods are constantly being added.

What is psychotherapy (not) and what is the goal?

Against the expectations of many, therapy is not meant for you to relieve your dissatisfaction with your life or to help with problems with authorities. It is also not a possibility to network and certainly not a magic tool. Therapy requires a lot of effort; especially your effort. The therapist can support you and offer you tools for change. However, the change must come from within yourself.

Therapy is a safe place based on trust where you can tell and explore without judgment why you got stuck in your life. You receive advice and practice new behaviour to overcome these problems. It is hard work. It is sometimes necessary to discuss sensitive topics and feelings. It is important that you work together with the therapist. Furthermore, it is good for the progress of the treatment if you give the therapist feedback about how you experience the treatment. That way you can collaborate optimally with your therapist to get better.

What is needed for successful treatment?

In successful therapy, there is room for change. Both patient and therapist are open to this. Openness and trust are important basic conditions. It is important that a cooperative relationship develops between you and your therapist. Change costs a lot of energy and it is possible that sometimes resistance to change occurs. This resistance needs to be overcome to be open to treatment again. In successful treatment, there is also a great deal of practice with new behaviour. It requires active commitment from the patient. Homework assignments are an important part of the treatment. After all, the purpose of the treatment is that you become better in your everyday life situation and not only in the treatment room. This requires that you practice new behaviour in your home environment. The homework assignments will also be discussed with your practitioner. Whenever possible, the patient’s family will also be involved in the treatment. This can be nice both for the family because they will get more understanding for your situation and how they can best support you as well as for yourself because you are better understood and supported.

Written By: Linda Blaesing

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Change in the special assistance from the municipality to the naturalization

Change in the special assistance from the municipality to the naturalization

Change concerning “bijzondere bijstand” with the costs of naturalization. This is no longer reimbursed, this stopped at the beginning of 2020. The costs for this are expensive, about 900 euro per person. 

1-1-2020, cuts are made in and the municipality of Nijmegen will no longer provide financial support for naturalization.

This means that many people with a temporary residence permit must start saving in order to be able to naturalize in a year’s time.
From the IND site:
* Naturalization Naturalization request 1 person € 901
* Naturalization request together with partner € 1150
* Co-naturalize by child under 18 € 133
* Request by stateless person or permit holder € 670
* Request by stateless person or permit holder asylum together with partner € 920

no exemption possible .

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Coordinator NewBees Arnhem Netherlands

Coordinator NewBees Arnhem Netherlands

NewBees believes in talent. 

In a society where everyone has the opportunity to use talent.  Wherever you come from. Because we believe that every talent is unique.  That everyone can make a contribution to society on the basis of talent and equality.  NewBees is a fast-growing, young organization that prepares newcomers for a job: in a place in society.  We match newcomers with traineeships at local entrepreneurs and organizations, where talent and equality are central. 

Do you also believe in newcomers to Arnhem and do you have experience with coordinating, connecting and organizing within a colorful team? 

Then we are looking for you! talent and do you want to contribute to such a society? 

Would you like to work with and We are looking for a positive, energetic colleague with knowledge of and experience with newcomers for our new location in Arnhem who can help us achieve our mission:

matching and supporting status holders to a (as good as possible) (  volunteer) job in Arnhem.

At NewBees Arnhem you lead an energetic, professional and diverse team of matchers and you report to the Operations Manager of NewBees.



Coordinating and setting up NewBees Arnhem:

Managing a professional, young and colorful team of matchers in Arnhem and the surrounding area.
Together with this team, interview newcomers, match them and guide them to suitable (volunteer) work o Initiate.
Coordinate and collaborate with organizations and companies  expand Thinking, setting up and managing new NewBees projects
Actively and creatively participating and thinking about the growth of NewBees Project evaluation and reporting of the results of the (local) projects that NewBees is working on and must report on;

Job requirements:

Self-starter who takes his / her responsibilities seriously with a smile Demonstrable experience and knowledge of the target group Energetic personality, who easily makes human connections
Experience with project coordination and managing / developing a diverse team Relevant network in Arnhem, preferably there  live HBO / WO working and thinking level Excellent communication skills in Dutch and English available 2/3 days a week from January 2020 Knowledge of marketing and communication is a plus Experience with fundraising activities and / or job placement is a plus

We offer

The opportunity to engage you for an inclusive Arnhem, with the diverse NewBees team
A great position in an energetic and fast-growing social enterprise
The opportunity to set up, manage and organize your own ‘NewBees club’ in Arnhem
A salary in line with market scale 6 the CLA Care and Welfare


Send an email with a motivation letter and CV in the attachment to no later than 8 December.  If you have any questions about the vacancy, you can contact Valerie van Lanschot (06 5045 3087)

Deadline: Sunday midnight 8 December

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WhatsApp Image 2019-11-04 at 21.07.00

The student organization Radboud University

The student organization Radboud University

Agreen in Nijmegen is organizing an event with a private partner:

Who are we?

schrav, a sustainable fashion clothes brand.   Agreen is a voluntary student organization working with different partners in Nijmegen, to promote impactful sustainable outcome. The main role endorsed by its members in consultancy.
On the project with Schrav, students are working on organizing a social inclusion night where delicate topics such as the environmental and social impact of the fast fashion industry will be addressed. Furthermore the event aim at sensitizing people on bad working conditions especially for marginalized people such as women, migrants, children and so on.

Moreover, the evening also aims at bringing fun and laughter. There will be games and drinks and a diversity of people to interact with. 

What do we want?

We are looking for potential speakers who have experienced such exploitation (preferably in the fashion industry) and that will be willing to share their stories.
Furthermore, if you would like to attend the event and have fun with us, we will be happy to see you there

if you are interested  you can send an email to

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Zorgcafé Nijmegen | Questions about Care

Do you have questions about health or the system in The Netherlands? At Zorgcafé you can talk and ask questions. The volunteers will give you information about health care and your health, while drinking a tea or coffee with you. Also sometimes volunteers can go with you to a doctor or hospital.

  • Tuesday, 12.00 – 16.00 uur
  • Wednesday, 13.00 – 17.00 uur
  • Friday, 13.00 – 17.00 uur

Zorgcafé has many volunteers available. They speak different languages: Dutch, English, French, Arabic, Farsi or Tigrinya. The interpretors are not always present. Ask when the interpretor of your language is present at Gezellig / Zorgcafé. Do you want to help translating, or can you provide your expertise about the health system? New volunteers are always welcome.

Zorgcafé | Gezellig (below VWN)
Ganzenheuvel 56, Nijmegen

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Nijmegen in touch on Facebook!

Become a group member or follow the pages below and be in touch with others who are new in Nijmegen, or with people that have always lived here. By showing yourself and your talents, you will be seen. Building a social network will bring you further in life! Also in case of minor problems, the community can help a hand.  


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gezellig meeting place refugees nijmegen

Start your Integration at Gezellig!

At Gezellig! meeting place under the office of VluchtelingenWerk in the city centre you can meet each other. Everyone is welcome to play his or her role: volunteer, follow a lesson, give a lesson. For example: you take a lesson of Dutch conversation and the next day you teach arabic or tigrinya to a Dutch person. Or you teach someone more about your background and get information about sport clubs. Start both here and online to actively develop your social network. You can ask questions, relax a little and start up your integration process. Yalla and good luck!


Gezellig Nijmegen

Ganzenheuvel 56
Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Monday | Maandag – Saturday | Zaterdag

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