Story by: Bertil Noortman, NewBees Intern / Matching, Zaandam
“As a ‘newbee’ to the NewBees team, I felt welcome and equal from day one. It motivated me to give the same feeling to as many newcomers as possible when they arrived in the Netherlands."
In September 2016, I travelled to the now closed refugee reception centre in Zaandam for my first day as an intern for NewBees — it was the launch day of the new NewBees logo. Shy as I was, I watched from a corner of the room as the NewBees team proudly presented their new logo. After the presentation and a short tour of the centre, the NewBees team gathered for a group picture with alderman Rita Visscher-Eveleens from the Zaanstad municipality.
As it was my first day, I thought I wasn’t supposed to be in the picture, so I waited behind the photographer. But then Annemiek, the NewBees founder, said: “Bertil, what are you waiting for? You are part of the team now, so you should join us!” The picture above was the result.
As a ‘newbee’ to the NewBees team, I felt welcome and equal from the day I started. It motivated me to give the same feeling to as many newcomers as possible when they arrived in the Netherlands.
In the following two years, I would get to know and learn from a lot of amazing newcomers, as well as the organizations and companies that believe in an inclusive society. For example:
Jacob, the Dutch all-rounder who I seemed to meet everywhere as he is quite active in Zaanstad. He helped multiple newcomers by giving them a place to do an internship...
Mohammad, the Syrian tailor and karate teacher who was always motivated and did voluntary work for NewBees as a tailor...
Dego, the Somali caregiver who is very social and is currently helping elderly people to become more active...
I got the opportunity to witness the growth of NewBees as an organization: we launched our innovative sign-up system, our team in Zaanstad doubled in size, we implemented the first workshops for our NewBees traineeship program…. I could continue, but I think you get the point: I love my job!
Unfortunately, I will have to leave NewBees at the end of the month. But I look forward to following the continued growth and impact of NewBees as a useful platform for newcomers — for those trying to obtain the tools and skills required to get an interesting job that matches their qualities and competences.