The Blendin team is a young team, with members from many different backgrounds. We found each other because we all want to change the current situation surrounding the ‘refugee crisis’ in The Netherlands for the better. Our team is a blend of Dutch students, young professionals and refugees from different countries, working together on a society where people can meet one another.
How did this all start?
Founder Julius Weise went to Lesbos in december 2015 to volunteer with his family. When he came back he felt like he had to help newcomers (refugees) that arrived in the Netherlands. He then asked his good friend Kourosh who lived in an asylum centre in the first months of his life to start a foundation that would connect newcomers with Dutch locals. One year later the platform is working well and Blendin has facilitated more than 150 connections!
The lack of interaction between newcomers and Dutch citizens is problematic, and it is creating a gap. The Blendin team has built an online platform through which newcomers and Dutch citizens can meet up and spend time together. Different studies have shown that newcomers that arrive in the Netherlands are mostly isolated and this leads to depression and other negative effects. Isolation can be avoided by creating a social network for these new Dutch citizens. Blendin is an open organization, meaning that we will consider all thoughts people have on our project and we accept every kind of help. Blendin could be casual: just a cup of coffee with a young political science student from Syria. It could be active: a soccer team that misses a field player can use Blendin to find an Iraqi left wing to fill in. Why should talented newcomers stop developing? Why should newcomers end their goals the moment they arrive in the Netherlands?
Let’s conclude with Angela Merkel’s words on the subject: “Let us interpret the big flow of new migrants as a chance for our society instead of a challenge. Everyone should try and meet at least one refugee in 2016.” Since it is 2017 we can only say one thing: hurry up!
‘We believe that we all should start Blendin now, simply because we are one’.
Target group(s): Newcomers and locals
HOW IT WORKS
1.Blendin is an online platform that connects newcomers (refugees) to Dutch locals. We see a gap between newcomers and Dutch locals and we have one mission, closing this gap by arranging meet ups between newcomers and Dutch locals. You can make a profile by clicking here.
2. After you made a profile our platform wil generate a match for you based on similar interests (you fill in your interests while making a profile).
3. Finally one of our team members will call you or send you a WhatsApp message to introduce you to your match, you can then set a day and time with your match and go for a coffee, to a museum or do sports for example.
4. While waiting for one of our team members to call you chat on our online platform with others to share ideas or thoughts on how we can bridge the divide in the Netherlands.
Type of product
x Online resource
x Face-to-face meetings
Brief description of the product / outcome / method
An online platform that connects newcomers (refugees) to Dutch locals where they can meet, get acquainted and get to know each other.
Impact on target groups / Transferability potential
Promoter of the initiative
Name of organization / individual: Blendin
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org +31 6 199 781 14 Zekeringstraat 41 1014 BV Amsterdam