The leader of a NAYBA Recognised Project has stepped up to offer advice and to coach people who want to help Ukrainian refugees in the Netherlands.
Jutta Hermann has been helping vulnerable people in crisis situations through the De Rustplek – The Resting Place – project for 10 years through Amersfoort Baptist Church. The programme helps vulnerable people by offering temporary shelter in volunteers’ homes until social services teams can find a permanent solution.
Community city councils in both Amersfoort and Dordrecht first approached Jutta and the De Rustplek team when the conflict in Ukraine broke out. As the project’s volunteers are already hosting many people in the Netherlands, Jutta offered to use the experience of the leadership team to assist prospective host families.
She explains, “Our volunteers are already helping many people from the Netherlands. So, we said if other families want to host a refugee from Ukraine, we will offer all the support services we can.
“We have a lot of experience in coaching new host families who have offered to have a guest in their home. We have been doing this work now for 10 years and we will offer our experience to every host family who has a refugee in their house.
“We will provide a service to answer questions and coach those who are considering hosting refugees.”
Among the help being offered is a special page on the project’s website, where Jutta and her team have published an article, “Five steps to think about before you offer a room to a Ukrainian refugee.”
A weekly online chatroom has also been set up to answer practical questions any host families may have about hosting their guest. De Rustplek is also taking part in a regular information evening in Amersfoort to help those considering receiving a Ukrainian refugee.
Jutta is also re-writing the project’s two-day training course so it can be delivered in just two hours, such is the severity of the emergency situation.
She says, “This training will help address questions, such as: What do I have to do if I want to coach a host family? Who can you call if you need help? Who can you ask if you need money for refugees? What can you do if your refugee is sick and needs a doctor?”
More than 25,000 families in the Netherlands have already offered room for refugees fleeing the horrific fighting in Ukraine. This tremendous response was the reason De Rustplek decided to stand ready to help those taking their first step in hosting a vulnerable person, she adds.
“We have said we will invest now in coaching host families so that everybody knows about the services and coaching we offer,” Jutta explains. “Because long after this crisis has past, there will still be vulnerable, lonely people in the Netherlands who will need a place of refuge to stay whilst they are going through some sort of personal challenge or emotional crisis.”
De Rustplek is one of NAYBA’s Recognised Projects that is currently being replicated across the Netherlands. For more details about the project, or if you wish to replicate it, visit the page on the NAYBA website. Or you can visit https://derustplek.nl
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