“We are not refugees anymore – we have become each other’s neighbours”
On saturday, the 17th of June 2017, we as locals and newcomers, old and young people, new and old neighbours formed the Charity Walk of Solidarity during ‘De nacht van de Vluchteling’ in Amsterdam. Together with New Neighbours, Women’s March Netherlands, organisation YWCA and foundation Mexaena, we created an inclusive and diverse team of more than fifty locals and new neighbours with a strong message:
Our Charity Walk is not only about raising money for refugees far from your own country and frame of reference. It is about showing international solidarity with people who are still on the run and celebrating the diversity of locals and former refugees, new neighbours, that are all part of the Netherlands. We showed how integration is a two-way street by dancing the Arabic dance Dabke in every corner of the street and taking pride in our different stories and backgrounds.
Our goal was to raise €1000, but the result was way higher, we raised €4959 that directly went to stichting Vluchteling, a hard-working foundation that provides emergency aid to refugees all over the world.
“Months of preparing and organising the Charity Walk of Solidarity didn’t prepare us for the actual solidarity that happened when we walked in Amsterdam and thereby raised € 4959 for Stichting Vluchteling and the people who are still on the run. It’s almost five times more than our initial goal which shows that there is a sense of community and engagement. I hope that initiatives like these keep uniting us and let us strive towards a world in which more people can claim a safe and equal space. It begins small, but yesterday we felt really big” – Jasper Albinus, co-initiator
“To see thousands people try to participate in Nacht van de Vluchteling or donate their money makes me believe that we still have so many people with big hearts in this dark world. International organisations, big states and countries don’t do enough to stop the war or end this dire situation or do something to show that there is still some respect for human rights. Some Syrians think that the human rights are only ink on papers and are not true or realistic, but we still believe that there are humans who feel each other’s pain and suffering and walk to show their solidarity with refugees.” – Tamer Alalloush, co-initiator and Syrian founder of community New Neighbours
New Neighbours is an initiative in Utrecht and (online) community that brings new citizens and old citizens in the city of Utrecht together. For more info!