Face the Future: Learning and working with refugees
Since November 2017, Triple Jump has been involved in a unique program called Face the Future, which focuses on refugees (newcomers) and Dutch employees (Dutchcomers) learning and working together. In the program, Triple Jump employees and employees from other Dutch corporate companies share valuable experiences and build meaningful connections with a group of refugees, who are at the start of their new life and career in the Netherlands. By participating in this program Triple Jump offers their own employees an opportunity to work on personal leadership skills, while contributing to society and connecting with others. Below is an excerpt from one of the participants about their experience in the program:
“The program started with a two-day kick-off. Those two days have made a deep impression on me. On the first day, I drove to Utrecht Central Station to pick up another participant in the program. I only knew his name and that he came from Syria. On my way to pick him up, I was already thinking about what it would be like to spend two intensive days with both newcomers and Dutchcomers.
The introduction was different than what I was normally used to. We had to introduce ourselves without telling our name, age, where we came from or our work backgrounds. There were a lot of thoughts going through my head, perhaps some kind of panic. Because if you are not allowed to say these things, what is left? In fact, the answer was very simple. What was left is who I am as a human being. My standards, my values. How I look at the world and what I think is important. I realized it’s actually a bit crazy that I had always identified myself by saying what I am and not so much who I am. The group consisted of people from The Netherlands, Syria, Sudan, America and beyond. A beautiful mix of people with cultural differences but surprisingly many similarities.
The rest of our time together was filled with even more beautiful conversations. Sometimes one-on-one and sometimes in a group context. We each drew our own ‘river of life’ which illustrated five influential events from our own life, and everybody had their own story with both beautiful and sad moments. When it comes to a refugee, I think many people expect that war or leaving home would be one of these most influential life moments. However, I was surprised when someone said that he had not chosen the war because he is more than just a refugee.
During the program, we also took a forest walk to talk to each other in peace and quietness. The silence of the wind, the smell of trees and the wet ground made the walk even more intimate than the conversation itself already was. In the evening we cooked a delicious meal together, with all different types of flavors and food. In that respect, our meal was a perfect reflection of our group: diverse, cozy and humble. An experience not to forget.”