Coordinator of RPM
My name is Nathalie and I am the new Coordinator of Refugee Project Maastricht. RPM is a unique family of dreamers from different cultures and backgrounds, a place where people can connect and become friends. As the coordinator, I hope to help create these connections by encouraging and supporting our amazing team leaders and volunteers and seeking out new opportunities for RPM to grow and collaborate.
Hello, my name is Marijan – the student representative of RPM! As a part of my role, I represent the project externally and take an active role in promoting the project and participate in developing collaborations with new partners. I am also responsible for managing incoming inquiries, introducing and connecting new parties with existing team members.
The Communications Team supports the other committees by enabling the flow of information about our projects, our events, and our achievements with the locals, the students, and the refugee community.
The need for communication is one of the basic and foundational pieces of any project. The CommunicationsTeam is in charge of all the intra-project communications and marketing issues. Of course, since we are not the only social project in Maastricht or in the area, our team is responsible for creating bridges between projects and securing a welcoming environment for all new and existing people in our community. Therefore, our reach does not stop within the limits of the Refugee Project Maastricht but expands to other organizations as well. We take care of all mediums of communication, such as flyers, Social Media, and this website. The team is also the main contact point between the public and the organization; so if you send us an email, or a message on Facebook we will do our best to answer all your questions!
I really enjoy my work at RPM as it allows me to work with a fantastic team that helps me to ensure that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.
Our aim is to connect students, refugees and the volunteers at RPM through big events.
Social Events Team
The Social Events Team is the cultural hub of RPM where attention is given to the multicultural experience, all in effort to recognise the humanity in all of us. In less pretentious terms, we get together and have fun – and like so, stealthily work on our own understanding and knowledge. We host dinners, music nights, coffee afternoons, you name it. Connecting people. That is one the fundamental aims upon which Refugee Project Maastricht is built and functions in its day-to-day activities. How does that work in a practical sense? Easy. You host 100 people in the common room of the InnBetween and have them cook, sing, dance, and laugh together. The Social Events Team has both an independent and supportive role in the organization. We have events of our own – like community dinners or picnics, and support the entire organization with their events!
The English team uses language learning to aid integration and build bridges between refugees and the international community of Maastricht. Project English runs several programmes, including weekly English classes and a buddy programme, all of which are focused on language learning in a fun, relaxed, and social setting. Our classes are designed so that refugees learn in small groups or one-on-one, and are able to practice their English by communicating with students from all over the world. This also facilitates discussions about values and differences, helping both sides to grow and develop their understanding of other cultures.
We focus on adapting our curricula to the learning needs of the students, working on whatever they need the most. Our motivated team is constantly striving to fill the gaps that we identify through close contact with the refugees we work with, and new projects are currently being developed. The team leader provides guidance and support to the volunteers who are responsible for teaching, and the team is constantly working together to adapt and improve its teaching strategies.
VOLUNTEERS: In collaboration with the Language Centre we are building a new buddy system. The refugees who take language classes are keen on practicing their language skills and putting their newly acquired knowledge into practice. Therefore, we are planning to pair up RPM buddies with participants from the language classes, who then would meet up independently and practice speaking English. This is a very flexible position that very much depends on the communication between the Buddy and the participants. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The team and the number of participants is constantly growing, and I am excited to be a part of this project.
Learning by doing, while drinking a nice cup of coffee or tea and enjoying everyone’s company.
Learning Dutch is surely the most important aspect of integration. The Dutch Language Team supports intercultural exchange between people of the refugee and the Maastricht Community – from both sides equally. It creates a social space and comfort-zone, where everybody is welcome to help and join. All is organised by volunteering tutors, who want to lay a reliable basis for regular language tutoring sessions. The different methods, the language café and the beginners lessons take place in a respectful and intercultural sensitive environment. The free tutorials cannot provide certification, though are rather meant to be an empowering knowledge pool that helps to keep the participants busy due to a feeling of hope and progress.
The sessions are based on communication practice, simulations, everyday life situation practice, vocabulary practice, trips to the city center, picnics and other social events. The outcome is that the volunteers and participants turn into friends that help each other on all social levels of integration and similarly gain new experiences and skills due to the new friendships.
The Connect Team encourages people to build lasting, meaningful connections across cultures. Inclusion is a process of learning and adapting from both sides. To achieve that we match up refugees and locals or students in buddy groups based on common interests and aspirations. The aim is to learn from each other and most importantly become friends. There are two different types of volunteers inside the Connect Team. On the one hand, volunteer workers mainly focus on the organisation and handling of the different projects and buddy groups. This comes with a higher degree of responsibility and autonomy. On the other hand, the buddies that are the backbone of the team. Buddies work with a high degree of flexibility and are separated into groups according to shared interests. Buddies are encouraged to attend further RPM events together but also to meet up in their private time to enjoy activities of their own choice together. Occasional group activities such as cooking, BBQ, or just a meet up in the park are part of our programme for the buddies to get to know each other better. Lastly, we believe that empowering refugees is a crucial part in the process of inclusion. Therefore, we are setting up Arabic classes taught by refugees and support refugees to organise activities and events themselves.
My goal is to create interesting events for both refugees and students, an opportunity to explore and connect more with the city of Maastricht.
My team and I try to spread our love for music by giving piano lessons to interested refugees and hopefully will set up a singing circle or a little choir in the future.
The Music Team has aims to encourage and inspire intercultural exchange through the art of music. Be that listening to music together, playing together in a band, singing in a choir, or attending music events in the city the Music Team
is based on the idea of facilitating meaningful connections between people of different backgrounds and cultures through music and rhythm. During our events and classes, the Team aims to create a safe environment where people of different cultures can meet and interact in harmony. Through this cultural interplay, we pay special attention to language by exercising Dutch and English skills, and incorporating native languages into music practice.
The Music Team is mainly focus on young adults and children who are encouraged to perform and explore new skills in order to develop a strong sense of confidence, self-esteem, empowerment, and pride in their achievements. Be that as it may, people of all ages and backgrounds are always welcome to join in, sing, dance, or observe!
The Homework team works together with the Internationale schakel klas (ISK). The ISK is an international linking school that is committed to teaching students Dutch while continuing their education in a variety of other subjects.
The main goal of the homework team is to support the pupils’ integration into Dutch society by helping them reach their academic objectives. In practise, we help out refugee students with their homework assignments. The homework sessions are held in a classroom at the ISK and last for one hour. During the session a handful of volunteers are present and two/three pupils per volunteer. This makes it possible for the volunteers to work in small groups and give each pupil the necessary attention. The subjects of Dutch, English, and Math are requested the most. The pupils are following classes at the ISK and have their own books and materials, and assignments that they could use some help with by the volunteers.
My biggest motivation to be involved at RPM is its to connect people from different cultures and backgrounds with each other.
Sport brings people together. My team and I hope to instill a sense of community and unity through fun sporting activities and events.”