Location and general information
The initial reception, medical check and first application interview of all asylum-seekers arriving in the Netherlands takes place at the Central Reception Centre in Ter Apel. In recent months, the centre has faced challenges with a higher influx of asylum seekers and slightly prolonged process times. Unaccompanied minors (UAM) – asylum seekers under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a parent or adult relative – are particularly vulnerable. UAM are exposed to many challenges and traumas during their journeys and need special care. UAM numbers at the centre have increased in recent months, putting pressure on social workers who already lack sufficient time and resources. The stress of the asylum-seeking process coupled with the lack of meaningful daytime activities for UAM clearly have a direct impact on their mental well-being.
- Improve the mental well-being of UAM by providing access to sports
- Create a safe space for young asylum-seekers to relax and socialise
- Offer the adult residents of the centre training through a volunteering programme
- Create an effective activity schedule around and beyond sports with a focus on well-being and personal growth
Community volunteers organise activities for UAM including art workshops and sports coaching days. The container-based clubhouse has been transformed into a sports library that is entirely managed and run by community volunteers. Improvements will be made to the clubhouse to further encourage social interactions.
As well as day-to-day activities, the project also hosts special events to bring young people together. The first Social Sports Day consisted of indoor sports, music, dance and arts workshops, all of which were much enjoyed by the young participants. A workshop is planned to design a sports kit for the centre’s young residents.
Regular workshops are led by refugees who have previously stayed in Ter Apel. They share their experiences of settling in the Netherlands after leaving the reception centre.