Description of the programme The Netherlands

War Child supports the National Foundation to Encourage Happiness (Nationale Stichting ter Bevordering van Vrolijkheid or De Vrolijkheid for short). De Vrolijkheid organises creative activities for children and young people living in asylum seeker reception centres in the Netherlands. The organisation hopes to increase the resilience of these young people so they will be able to lead more balanced lives. Five factors form the focus of the – primarily creative – workshops and activities: Happiness, Safety, improved Resiliency, giving shape to their Story and strengthening and building Trust. De Vrolijkheid strives to achieve this for all the children at least once per week.

Asylum seekers children in a music work shop in The NetherlandsEncounters with others (also people from outside the asylum seeker reception centre), expositions and performances also fulfil the need for recognition and appreciation. In 2007, among other things, exchange projects were begun with organisations and companies such as De Baak, the Ministry of the Interior and solicitors’ office Linklaters. Young refugees also coach ‘employees’; companies adopt an asylum seeker reception centre or a project and become involved themselves.


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Aase Kretzschmar, War Child’s press officer

Aase Kretzschmar, War Child’s press officer organized a press conference in April: “The effect of the launch of the Child Soldier Campaign was tremendous.”

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