Hotelschool Students Work On Solving Refugee Integration Issue
Starting with the introduction of Hotelschool The Hague’s Global Citizenship Series, Hotelschool has been embracing more and more social cases in and outside of its curriculum. One of the most discussed social topics has been the European Refugee Crisis. A topic of importance, not only to our school, but to our entire society. Since the beginning of December 2017, 40 students of Hotelschool The Hague have taken upon the challenge to create hospitality community concepts for refugees.
How did our students shape their own vision of refugees and their needs? What was the core idea behind their concepts? We assembled some of their great concepts below:
PitZentre/PitZircle – A hub where expertise meets passion and curiosity
Generally, refugee centres and status holders are fairly invisible to Dutch citizens. To tackle this issue, students came up with the concept of the PitZentre. The PitZentre is a place where Dutchies and newcomers can freely share their knowledge in the form of workshops, (virtual) networking opportunities and other extracurricular activities such as yoga classes, cooking etc. The aim is to create a sense of belonging, where Dutchies and newcomers can learn from each other. PitZentre would be a place where newcomers can connect while still contributing to the driving of the local economy.
De Eetkamer van PitZtop – A place where food forms community
The next concept focuses on food, education and experience. The team came up with the establishment of a café where refugees get an opportunity to gain work experience and practice speaking Dutch. In return, they would receive points for their efforts. These points they can use to attend certain workshops, cultural encounters and classes.
RefuTeach – Life-long learning focusing on youngsters of refugee families
Similarly to the Eetkamer, RefuTeach is a learning community. Though, there is little focus on food here. The aim of the programme is similar: helping refugees learn about the Dutch culture, how to integrate and best adapt to the Dutch lifestyle. RefuTeach is targeting youngsters between 18-25 years with its educational programme lasting 10 weeks including classes and workshops. The programme would be carried out by volunteers who share the same values that RefuTeach stands for.
Fit to play, play to fit – Integrating newcomer kids with locals
The motivation behind this concept is found in the goal of parents: to find the best possible futures for their children. The idea is to bring refugee kids together to play with local kids. Why? Because while playing we all speak a universal language while allowing them to create lifelong friendships. This would start in the format of a ten-week long programme where kids join Dutch schools in the Haarlem area for certain classes. Eventually, the programme would bring together Dutch and refugee families to get to know each other better in the means of a “Fit to play, play to fit” Festival.
Falesh – The ultimate buddy system for refugees
And what about building a buddy system in Haarlem for refugees with Dutch families as “buddies”? Sounds great, right?! This way we can stimulate a mutual learning environment. Falesh gives the opportunity for Dutch families to experience new cultures and learn from them. In return, it allows refugees to explore new cities, better adapt to the Dutch lifestyle and practice the Dutch language. Falesh is a three-month-long programme, where families undertake different activities such as boat trips, cooking together or doing sports together. Similar to the Fit to play, play to fit the concept, the three-month programme is wrapped up during a fun family day where all families come together, share their experience and play together.