Harun from Turkey is married and has 3 children. In 2018 he and his wife took the difficult decision to leave their home country. It was impossible for them to stay in Turkey. They sold their apartment to raise enough money to pay smugglers to bring them to Greece. Harun says: ‘It was a very dangerous journey, but we had to do it. The border between Turkey and Greece is a river. First the smugglers took us to one of the small islands in the river. It was raining that night and we couldn’t see properly. We stayed there for a couple of hours and the children started to cry. Eventually the smugglers came back and took us another way. It wasn’t easy, but we made it to Greece. We stayed there for almost 2 weeks and were then welcomed to The Netherlands’.
The first 6 months in The Netherlands Harun and his family stayed at the AZC (the asylum seekers centre) and since November 2018 they have their own house in Loosdrecht. ‘We are safe, our children are happy here and go to school. We have good relationships with our neighbours and we have come across more opportunities than we expected. The ‘Nederlanders’ are very open and accepting of other cultures.
In The Netherlands there are many good organizations for newcomers and refugees, like Reach & Teach, to help us find a place in society, provide education or support us with finding a job. I learned about Reach & Teach from my friends. After doing some research, I decided to enrol for English classes. Learning English is important for me to increase chances of finding a job.