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

Here’s a summary of our initiatives:

  • Impact Challenge: Students write 178 cards for unaccompanied minors
  • Bringing clean water and food to Mawasi Khan Yunis, Gaza
  • The power of sports for unaccompanied minors 
  • A visit to the Disaster Expo in Frankfurt
  • Partner Story: How Usespace is using office spaces for social good
  • Warehouse update: Minors in Delft and Zwijndrecht receive supplies
  • A volunteer picnic at Picnic: Celebrating individual milestones


  • Impact Night
  • World Refugee Day
  • New job openings at People for People

Impact Challenge: Students write 178 cards for unaccompanied minors

We were so grateful to be invited to join forces with the Young Impact team as they visited Laurens Lyceum in Rotterdam to give a guest lesson titled “Pass Freedom On,” organized in collaboration with the 4-5 May Committee for Freedom Day. 🤩

During the lesson, they asked 150 students aged 12-13, “What does freedom mean to you?”

People for People team member Pauline van der Werff then shared more about the work we do with unaccompanied minors, kids like them who’ve traveled far to find freedom in the Netherlands. She was amazed to see the students so engaged and interested in asking more questions about the situation of the boys and girls in asylum shelters. 🕊️

As part of the day’s Impact Challenge, we invited them to write letters to the unaccompanied minors we visit at our Rolling Aid Events. In the end, the students created 178 heartwarming messages. 

When we distributed some of the cards at our Rekken and Haaksbergen Rolling Aid Events, the boys were so touched that some of them had tears in their eyes as our volunteers translated cards such as this one:

“I don’t know what you’re going through and we don’t know how you feel but you are a hero and we take inspiration from you to stay strong. Better days are coming to you. Be happy. You’re in a place where you will make your dreams come true.”

Impact Challenge at Laurens Lyceum
Distributing cards at our Rolling Aid Events

Bringing clean water and food to Mawasi Khan Yunis, Gaza

In May, many people had to flee camps and shelters in Rafah for Mawasi Khan Yunis. When people are forced to flee their homes they lose not only their sense of security but also many of the basics they need to survive. 

Water scarcity is one of the biggest problems. According to satellite imagery, the BBC reported that half of Gaza’s water sites are now damaged or destroyed. Due to dwindling supplies, food prices have skyrocketed over the last few months with fresh vegetables like spinach, jute leaves and chard costing 25 times their normal price. 

Thanks to our local partners, in May we were able to distribute 6,000 liters of water and share warm meals with families in camps in Mawasi Khan Yunis.

We want to thank our local partners for tirelessly working and risking their safety to ensure the survival of so many families in need right now. We want to thank our partners for empowering us to be there for families in Gaza who are fleeing yet again to find safety. We will continue to support local NGOs that are working to help as many people as they can.

The power of sports for unaccompanied minors 🥊

Unaccompanied minors have often gone through long, difficult and at times traumatic journeys to reach the peace and safety of the Netherlands. But the challenges don’t end there. Continuing stress for the safety of their family and friends back home as well as insecurity about their future can often lead to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as they face life alone in a new country.

Hussein Mohammed understands this all too well. Having fled from Iraq with his family, he had a lot to cope with from a very young age. That’s when he found kickboxing. 

Now Hussein gives kickboxing workshops to unaccompanied minors at the asylum shelter in Rekken. We were so grateful to have him give a workshop at People for People’s most recent Rolling Aid Event in Rekken. 

“The young people I work with have walked a difficult path. Most of them come from war zones like me. Many boys here miss their families and are under a lot of stress. I personally experienced that kickboxing gave me peace of mind and that is why I decided to give this to the boys here as well. They can release their stress and forget their thoughts for a while during training,” he shared.

After seeing the incredible impact of Hussein’s trainings, People for People decided to donate kickboxing equipment to the Rekken location so he can continue sharing his love for the sport with even more kids. Thank you to our partner Bird for the generous donation that allows us to support the initiatives of amazing people like Hussein. ❤️

Kickboxing workshop at our Rolling Aid Event in Rekken

A visit to the Disasters Expo in Frankfurt

Our team members Pauline and Roderick set off for Frankfurt to attend the Disasters Expo on May 15 -16. There they were able to learn about some of the latest technologies and strategies in crisis response that will help to keep us ready and up to date for the next mission we undertake. 

We also met our friends and partners from The Sheltersuit Foundation, who displayed a video of our joint missions to Turkey and Morocco during 2023. 

Disasters Expo Europe

Partner Story: How Usespace is using office spaces for social good

In 2023, Mare Santema started Usespace, a matching platform that connects available spaces with social impact initiatives. So far, the organization has received a wave of applications from both sides allowing them to facilitate and help organize social good events across the city. 

For example, residents of the Zuid neighborhood can now enjoy free monthly concerts in the World Trade Center. Together with De Regenboog Groep, they organized a job market for homeless people. And thanks to Usespace, People for People found a new home for our donations in a vacant space that belongs to a.s.r. Now the unused space has a purpose and we are super happy with this because it allows us to store, organize and distribute aid when it’s needed most. ⛑️

“What I really like about combining offices and social organizations is that you get a lot of interaction between them. Bringing people from different fields into the same building really generates opportunities to exit your social bubble, meet different types of people and be exposed to new ideas. My world is opening up so much because I get to meet so many people doing amazing things. It’s really broadening my horizons of what Amsterdam has to offer,” Santema says.

One example of this is the amazing relationship we’ve developed with one of the companies in the Europlaza building where we are located. Last year, the company’s employees decided to donate their Christmas budget to People for People so we could provide warm winter clothing to unaccompanied minors so they could keep warm on their way to school. ❤️

If you have a space you want to share for a good cause, have a look at Usespace’s website ( or contact Santema directly at: 

Warehouse update: Minors in Delft and Zwijndrecht receive supplies

Our team was hard at work in the warehouse sorting incoming supplies from our amazing partners and responding to urgent requests from asylum shelters across the Netherlands. 

On May 16, we received two trucks full of winter clothing! Our team (including warehouse manager pup Stip (see pic below), spent the day unloading and sorting so we could move fast this month! 

This was our impact during May:

  • Delft: 66 minors received hygiene products, backpacks and school supplies
  • Zwijndrecht: 60 minors received t-shirts, sweaters, socks, shoes, towels and blankets

The biggest challenge was packing it all into our van and cars. Check out our warehouse team’s very own jigsaw puzzle 🙌

A volunteer picnic at Picnic: Celebrating individual milestones

Although we spend a lot of time together in the warehouse and at our Rolling Aid Events, we don’t always have time to check-in with our amazing volunteers who give their time, energy and skills to spread the impact of People for People. 

As many of them are in the asylum process themselves, they also face the difficulty of being far from their families, moving from shelter to shelter, a long and uncertain application process and the difficulty of finding a job. 

That’s why we were so excited to celebrate so many personal milestones at this event! 

One of our volunteers finally received his BSN number the same day, enabling him to start building his life here in the Netherlands. 🇳🇱

Another was able to land a job after we connected him with one of our partners. 💼

People for People is all about coming together to support others and that starts with our incredible team. Our Director, Marcella Simons, gave a thank you toast celebrating all the wonderful people who we’ve been fortunate to count on as team members and friends. 

Volunteer catch-up picnic at Picnic


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

  • Impact Night on June 4th ⚡
  • World Refugee Day on June 20th 🌍

People for People is looking for a new Project Manager and a Marketing Manager! Check out our new job openings here