One year ago, people form Syria arrived in Heumensoord. As we all now they had fled their countries due to the war going on. Back then we heard from residents in the camp that they wanted to march from Heumensoord to the central station, expressing their gratitude to the Dutch people. As a symbol of that, they handed out roses.
One year has passed. A lot of people stayed until May in the camp, in far from perfect conditions. What we can say now with certainty, is that people are just put on hold for too long. Nevertheless, there was a lot of engagement form the Dutch locals as well as from the people with a refugee background.
But is that enough? How many possibilities do the authorities offer now to the newcomers? Do they receive the gratitude and turn it into real chances of participation and mutual learning?