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As June comes to an end, we reflect on our activities over the past month.

Here’s a summary of our initiatives:

  • Coming together as a team for Impact Night
  • Mental health counseling for children in northern Gaza
  • After RAE in Rekken COA and community form closer bond
  • Rooted Festival on World Refugee Day
  • Warehouse days and providing essential needs to kids
  • Kicking off our Better Shelter partnership

Looking forward 

  • Our “Dreams Project” takes shape
  • Dam tot Dam sign-ups

Coming together as a team for Impact Night 🎤

This month, People for People volunteers and partners Bird, Picnic, and Usespace came together for an incredible Impact Night thanks to Young Impact! 🎤🔥

We had 70 people representing our team in red People for People t-shirts as we watched performances from Rita Ora, Son Mieux, Kraantje Pappie, Bizzey and more! 🤩

One of our volunteers told us he’s been a huge fan of Rita Ora for years and it was a dream to see her live! 🥹Another volunteer filmed the concert from beginning to end, while another danced and sang the entire time. 🕺🪩

After everything we’ve achieved together over the past few years, it was amazing to have a night out when everyone could come together to dance and sing our hearts out! 🥳

Thank you so much to Young Impact for inviting us to this special event! And a big thank you to Pouw Vervoer for transporting us all to Rotterdam and back in style! 

Mental health counseling for children in northern Gaza

Together with local partner IMET2000, we’ve been sponsoring mental health counseling days for children and families in northern Gaza including a group open day where 80 food parcels were distributed to families in need. 

The situation in this region is dire. Families need to move from safe houses to shelters to schools every few days, many without humane living conditions. As one of our partners on the ground shared:

“It is very difficult to get water and only canned food is available. The health system has collapsed.”

Living in these conditions will likely have a long-term impact on these children’s mental health. That’s why we’re supporting professionals who are risking their own safety to help these children develop some of the tools they will need to cope with these experiences and also bring some moments of respite amidst the darkness. 

Update: After RAE in Rekken, COA and municipality build stronger connections ❤️

The goal of our Rolling Aid Events is threefold. Through activities and bonding sessions we: 

🎉 Provide a day of fun, recognition and connection for unaccompanied minors

⭐ Support the minors with essential needs so they can focus on their future

🙌 Connect the local community so they can build sustainable, long-term relationships

That’s why we always schedule a post-event call with our partners a few weeks later to gather feedback and set learning goals for our future events. 

We were so happy to receive beautiful notes from the stars of our event: the children. Some emphasized how fun the day was for them, others hoped they would see us again for another event soon! One boy shared that the event made him feel everyone was equal, without distinction. ❤️

The COA shared with us that the Rolling Aid Event gave them a positive boost. Ever since the event, they’ve been able to organize more activities with the kids providing more opportunities for personal contact. 

We were so glad to hear that the municipality also really enjoyed the event and plan to come up with long-term plans to support days like this in a structural way. 👏

It’s events like these that really show us we can make a positive impact through our Rolling Aid Events. We will continue to gather feedback and make these days even more impactful in the future. If your municipality or COA location would like us to organize an event in your area, contact us at: 

Feeling ‘rooted’ on World Refugee Day

It was such a pleasure for People for People to take part in this year’s Rooted Festival on #World Refugee Day (June 20) Buitenplaats De Hoorneboeg in collaboration with Rooted, UNHCR, de VN-Vluchtelingenorganisatie and Cinetree. The concept behind the festival is to provide a space for people who are experiencing migration, or working in the field, to connect and explore the importance of ‘rooting’ as part of the integration process in the Netherlands. 

Feeling rooted is as much about ourselves as about the connections we make with others. The people we meet in our new surroundings are what root us there and help us build a mutual sense of belonging, from the neighbor who waves to us on our morning commute to the friend who has been in our shoes before.

To delve deeper into this topic, People for People held two sessions at the festival called ‘Together we Connect’ with Young Colfield and Leander Potze, who has a background in psychology, change management, and human resource management, led the session in a beautiful space amongst the trees using headphones and music.

Participants explored questions like “When or where do you feel rooted?”

As Potze explained:

“Using headphones is nice because people step into their own zone. You won’t be distracted and checking in on what other people are doing, allowing you to connect with yourself,” Potz explained. “I think you can really have an honest and genuine connection with someone else when you’re also connected with yourself.”

At the end of the session, he asked everyone to share with each other what makes them feel rooted. He believes exercises like this result in deeper conversations that allow you to go beyond the small talk you usually have when you first meet someone. 

Katja Schuurmans also joined our sessions and shared her experience in an interview with Shownieuws.

Warehouse days and providing essential needs to kids

Our warehouse was supercharged this month with visits from two volunteer groups.🔥🙌

A group of 8 volunteers from the advertising department of Microsoft and 15 young trainees from the IT department of ABN AMRO came to help us receive, sort and prepare donations to be delivered to unaccompanied minors across the Netherlands. 📦💪

Thanks to this support, we hit the road and paid a visit to a group of 80 boys living in the Almere AMV location. As a large group had just arrived from Ter Apel, many of them didn’t have basic essentials. We provided them with underwear, socks, t-shirts and sports shirts.

In Utrecht, we provided hygiene kits and backpacks filled with school supplies to 40 kids living in the shelter so they could get a jump start on their studies. 📚💫

Impact in the Netherlands this month:

  • 120 unaccompanied minors received:
    • 23 hygiene kits
    • 35 t-shirts
    • 120 sports shirts
    • 35 socks and underwear
    • 23 backpacks filled with pens, notebooks, and water bottles

Kicking off our partnership with Better Shelter 🏠

In 2023, People for People was on the ground providing assistance to people forced to flee their homes after the earthquakes in Turkey and Morocco. Although we were able to provide assistance for immediate needs, now a year later, we see that many people are still homeless. 

As Märta Aretakis Terne, Head of Communications at Better Shelter, who was in Turkey recently explained, the recovery process takes a lot longer than we realize, leaving people in a situation where they could be homeless for months to years after. 

“There were 230,000 buildings damaged during the earthquake in Turkey. Right after the earthquake, there were 3 ½ million people who lost their homes. Over 15 months later, there are still 600,000 people without a permanent home. You still see them demolishing the buildings that are still standing and removing rubble. First, you need to do that and only then you can start rebuilding. So these things take a really long time.”

That’s why we decided to team up with Better Shelter, an organization that together with the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR developed an innovative, new crisis shelter model that arrives in flat packs and can be set up in 4-6 hours. These shelters provide a more humane and sustainable option than the traditional tent structures which are extremely limited in space and provide little protection against the elements. 

So far, Better Shelter has provided refuge for people forced to flee their homes in 80 countries and their shelters are used by leading crisis response entities like UNHCR, the Red Cross and the World Food Program.  

“Everything starts with shelter. You can’t do anything if you don’t have a safe space to venture out into the world from. It’s impossible to apply for a job or study, for example, if you have to spend most of your time looking for a place to sleep. It’s the same with dealing with trauma. You need a secure mental space. Once you have your basic needs, then you can start thinking about other things,” says Aretakis.

People for People now has shelters ready to go when the next crisis strikes and will start training a dedicated crisis response team of military and security enforcement professionals who can be deployed to construct them. 


Here are some new events and People for People updates we’re looking forward to in July:

  • Our “Dreams Project” takes shape

We have exciting news! Our upcoming “Dreams Project” will see three athletes from the IOC Refugee Team join us as People for People ambassadors. As they gear up for the 2024 Paris Olympics we’ll be supporting and rooting for these amazing athletes! In collaboration, we will be creating a video about dreams, resilience and hope that we can share with unaccompanied minors during our summer events.

Afterward, they’ll be coming with us to share their love for sports with unaccompanied minors at different shelter locations. This will culminate in an Olympic-themed Rolling Aid Event.

More news to come soon! 🏆

  • Dam tot Damloop sign ups

The Dam tot Damloop is coming up yet again from September 21 – 22. We’re excited to have a large group of our team, partners and volunteers signed up to represent People for People again this year! Go team red! 🏅