We think it is important that the asylum seekers 'strike roots' as quickly as possible and can find their own way in the Dutch society. Our guidance is therefore aimed at strengthening the competences they need to shape their lives at the reception centre and in the future. This way we increase their self-reliance and independence.
Under the title 'Living and life in a COA-reception centre' we offer a modular programme. It enables residents to acquire knowledge and skills with which they can function independently at the reception centre and participate in the Dutch society.
When the residents have a residence status, they can follow the programme Preparation for Civic Integration. This programme offers tools for independent living and life in the Netherlands.
The special website MyCOA for the residents contributes with practical information to the self-reliance of our residents. In addition, we encourage them to spend their days meaningfully and build a social network, for example, by participating in sports activities, participating in the maintenance of the location or do voluntary work outside the location.
After the rejection of the asylum application
The residents, whose asylum application has been rejected, receive our assistance in the awareness process that they cannot stay in the Netherlands. We provide information about the return options and conduct 'departure interviews' with the Repatriation and Departure Service.
Partners and peer educators
We organise some parts of the information for the asylum seekers together with partners such as the GGD, Jeugdgezondheidszorg and VluchtelingenWerk. At some locations, the GGD works together with ‘peer educators’ and provides information about, for example, STDs, AIDS, contraception, girls' circumcision and healthcare in the Netherlands. The information officers have diverse cultural backgrounds, they speak the same language and know how their compatriots think about these health issues.
Reception centres with additional guidance
The COA has special reception centres for the residents who are insufficiently able to function independently in a regular reception centre and/or cause nuisance. Read here about the reception centre with intensive guidance (ibo) and the reception centre with additional guidance and supervision (ebtl).