The municipality ....
.....of Amstelveen has approximately 83,336 inhabitants: 4,530 are of foreign origin from Western countries, 6,566 are of foreign origin from non-Western countries.
.....of Aalsmeer has approximately 30,364 inhabitants: 2,868 are of
foreign origin from Western countries, 1,853 are of foreign origin from
.....of Uithoorn has approximately 28,114 inhabitants: 2,949 are of foreign origin from Western countries, 2,562 are of foreign origin from non-Western countries.
These statistics highlight that a large part of Dutch society consists of inhabitants from non-Dutch backgrounds: foreign language speakers. To understand each other, it is therefore important that everybody speaks sufficient Dutch and knows something about Dutch customs and culture, not least how society in the Netherlands is organised. As of 1 January 2007, it thus became a legal requirement for people migrating to the Netherlands to integrate into Dutch society.
In everyday situations, such as in the supermarket, at school or when
visiting the doctor, it is useful to be able to communicate effectively.
However, in the multicultural workplace, differences in language, culture,
education and background also need to be recognised and addressed in order to ensure proper health and safety and mutual understanding.
Not being able to read or interpret work instructions or manuals for machines can place people in serious danger. Both language problems and cultural differences have in the past negatively impacted on safety in the workplace.
Although not fully understanding an assignment or a question can sometimes be amusing, it can also result in misunderstandings, mistakes or conflicts. Language is the basis for effective collaboration and mutual
The Wereldbuur foundation aims to facilitate social interaction by helping people to communicate in Dutch. The foundation puts volunteers in contact with foreign language speakers who have expressed a need for a
language coach. The language coaches are professionally assisted and supported with specific training and materials. For example, Startkrant is an easily accessible digital newspaper that can be read and discussed with a foreign language speaker.
In order to support foreign language speakers professionally, we need funds.
With sponsorship money, we can:
- publish a weekly digital edition of the Startkrant newspaper
- purchase books and teaching materials
- offer our foreign language speakers a course every quarter
- offer our language coaches a course every quarter
- organise an annual ‘language buddy dinner’
- offer societal internships to language buddies
- work on Wereldbuur’s visibility and presentation
- perform intakes with language buddies under professional supervision
- research new projects and collaboration opportunities
World neighbours help each other! Can we count on you?
The Samenspraak project began in 2004 and received a local government subsidy. The project is now continued within the Wereldbuur foundation, which aims to maintain professional continuity. By doing so it has become a financially self-sustaining citizens’ initiative. With the support of our partners, as well as corporate sponsorship and private contributions, this important work can continue.
Your contribution will allow us to carry on!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions:
Wim Coeveld, Natalia Badillo, Anke Eweg and Linda Tan.
You may email us at email@example.com