Guiding Somali Girls into Dutch life

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HIRDA Foundation is committed to the development of the Somali community in the Netherlands in the areas of education, health, sports integration, peace building and women empowerment.  

As a part of its integration program, HIRDA will implement a new project “Link Up and Learn”. It aims to involve Somali girls and young women (age 16 to 30) into the Dutch society.This project targets newcomers who have little educational background and insufficient knowledge of the Dutch language. It’s the first time that HIRDA implements a project especially for girls and young women in the Netherlands.  

"Link up and Learn" is subsidized by the City of Amsterdam. The project consists in several blocks such as mentorship, discussion evenings, information evenings and finally crosscultural meet-ups.

Unknown Possibilities

The girls and young women in the Netherlands have little education, scarce to none knowledge of Dutch language. They feel isolated in a new country, foreign culture and unusual circumstances. The biggest challenge for them is to get acquainted and thus to broaden their network. For now their network is often one-sided. It consists of girls and women in the same position as themselves who have similar restrictions. It is hard for them to organize their lives. With "Link up and Learn" project, HIRDA aims to increase the network of young women and provide them with information on education and job opportunities in Amsterdam. During the mentorship program, participants will get a personal mentor who will advise and assist them throughout the project. The mentors are Somali-Dutch yougster with high educational level.

Providing necessary information

Providing girls and young women with information on their opportunities in education and work is key to have a richer life in a new country with another culture. Therefore, HIRDA will invite DUO Dienst Uitvoerend Onderwijs, The Service of Education Practice (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) to provide information during information evenings. In discussion evenings, the participants will have the opportunity to share and discuss their hopes and dreams. A Somali-Dutch member of HIRDA’s Network who understands both Dutch and Somali culture will facilitate the evening.

Informal meet-ups

The best way to integrate is through informal engagement and common interests. Therefore HIRDA will organize different activities including bowling, henna painting and a musical event with a Somali-Dutch band. These activities inspire to network in an easy and accesible way.

The project will start on November 12th. For more information please contact us.

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