Learning Crossroads for Refugee Inclusion

In 2015, an enormous amount of energy has erupted in Dutch society. The arrival of many refugees has not only aroused fear in some parts of society, but also led to an unprecedented movement of solidarity and commitment from people who wanted to receive refugees hospitably and support them in their integration in Dutch society.

We are now a few years further, and many initiatives that emerged after 2015 are still trying to find more sustainable forms of support. It is time to ask ourselves how the social power of these initiatives can be safeguarded and what we can learn from the gained experiences. At a time when social tension and negative feelings regarding migration and diversity are prevalent in society, the need for 'unorthodox' positive connections in a context of difference is not only urgent for newcomers, but also for people who have been living in the Netherlands for a longer period.

“Learning Crossroads for Refugee Inclusion” is a project of the Refugee Academy. It concerns a learning trajectory that uses participatory methods to help social initiatives become more sustainable and to create a platform in which they can learn from each other, fed by existing scientific knowledge and by the contribution of experiential experts who themselves have a refugee background. In this project we connect social initiatives and jointly formulate workable conditions and actions that make the inclusion of refugees possible in practice. Co-creation of academic, professional and local knowledge is central to these learning trajectories. In concrete terms, this involves learning from each other, exchanging experiences, investigating dilemmas and learning from scientific insights. We want to give citizens' initiatives more insight into experimental routes and conditions that can offer newcomers room to contribute to the host society, and how they can shape these conditions and routes within their own initiative. We also reflect together on how initiatives can position themselves in the field in a sustainable way.

For more information about the research project 'Learning Crossroads for Refugee Inclusion', visit the project website: www.refugeeacademy-learningcrossroads.nl.