Guided tour by ‘We Are Here’

On the 14th of December, we got a guided tour by a group of undocumented refugees called ‘Wij Zijn Hier’ (We Are Here). First, we visited the Asylum Centre at the Bijlmer Bajes in Amsterdam were the documented refugees life and work. This former prison building is restyled and painted in order to look – slightly – like a home (including a Hammam build in former isolation cells). They are also trained by volunteers to get a job in hospitality or to design and make art in order to integrate as soon as possible in the country. How different were the living circumstances of the undocumented refugees who don’t have opportunities to get a house, a job or even medical care. At the moment, they were squatting an old warehouse (the 29th place they had to move to in 5 years) with about 40 people. With no prospects of getting better circumstances, leaving the Netherlands (going home or to another country) since they have no documents and being forced to live on the street, they want to raise awareness for their inhumane circumstances. It was very interesting to learn about their lives first hand and showed once again that many still face a lot of problems even after they left areas of conflict.