Youth Counseling at Diamant College

From August 2011 to December 2013 the foundation helped guiding students from Central and Eastern Europe work migrant families at Johan de Witt Scholengroep. The project was initiated because of signals coming from the school about youth behavioral problems within this group. On the one hand, these students face problems with integrating at their ‘new’ school and on the other they skip school and are vulnerable to drugs and alcohol abuse. The nuisance that they cause does not only confine itself to the school or at home, but it is also visible on the streets. The parents of these children work long days and they are not at home at times when their children are back from school. Due to a lack of language skills the communication between the school and these parents is extremely difficult.

Comparable problems do also occur at Diamant College. That is why, by the end of 2013 IDHEM has started a consultation and advice point at Diamant College. A youth counselor from IDHEM is present 8 hours a week to:

  • Perform youth counseling by means of conversations with the students (in cooperation with the social workers at Diamant College).
  • Analyse and provide advice to the mentoring programs 
  • To refer students (and parents) to professional aid and to communicate with the relevant organizations and aid facilities.
  • Have conversations with the parents and to enlarge their parental involvement

With this consultation and advise point IDHEM improves the learning achievements of the students from Central and Eastern Europe by tackling the problems that cause bad school achievements. 

Guidance of students at the Hague University of Applied Sciences

IDHEM guides students at the Hague University who have to write their final thesis. In recent years more and more students have chosen to write their thesis about the integration of Central and Eastern European work migrants in the Netherlands. With years of experience, IDHEM can offer the students assistance as an advisor and in return the students will deliver useful research which the foundation can use in developing new projects.


There are many homeless migrants from Central and Eastern Europe living in The Hague. Most of them become temporarily homeless due to exploitation. Since January 2012 those migrants have been denied access to the social care in The Hague. Hence, in April 2012, IDHEM started in co-operation with the Municipality of The Hague, The Central Coordinating Point, BARKA (a foundation from Poland) and the Salvation Army a project called Perspective. The foremost aim of this project is to assist these (temporarily) homeless to find work or to let them return to their home country on a voluntarily basis. For the purpose of supporting migrants from Central and Eastern Europe who have no fixed abode, IDHEM organizes consulting hours twice a week at the Julianakerk in Transvaal.

During those consultation hours a selection is made between migrants who are motivated enough to find new work and housing and migrants who have less chance in building up a future in The Hague. The selection is based upon work experience and skills. Those who are considered for guidance to work will temporarily be placed at the Salvation Army at Binckhorstlaan 51. They can stay there for maximum 8 weeks and use this time to find work. There is a limited number of beds available at the Salvation Army. If the total number of people is greater than the number of available beds, a waiting list will be introduced. 

As for the group of migrants who most probably will not be able to find work by themselves or build up a self-reliant life in the Netherlands, they will be given the opportunity to return to their country of origin (only on a voluntary base). A ticket will be bought for the migrant and IDHEM can contact family or social care in the land of origin to make sure that their return home will be easier. 

Migrants who struggle with addictions, physical or psychological problems are redirected to BARKA and/or CCP as they need special help which IDHEM can not provide.


Consultant in Social Work Training

In December 2012 IDHEM started a pilot training “Consultant in Social Work. Through a short training program we trained a selection of our volunteers to become a consultant in social work and deployed them as an intern at several social institutions in The Hague. This created the possibility to solve the current issues in a more efficient and cheap manner; instead of contacting IDHEM for help with translation or information about Central and Eastern European migrants, the social institutions would have a consultant at their own disposal. Moreover, it would improve the labor and language skills of these often highly educated volunteers and create a bigger chance to enroll in the Dutch labor market on a higher level. The pilot ended on June 6th 2013 with an expert meeting about how to improve the assistance to Central and Eastern Europeans in The Hague. During this expert meeting the students were given a certificate and the final report with findings, internship experiences, conclusions and recommendations was presented and handed to Hans van Oel (Head of department of Integration and Citizenship, municipality of The Hague). 

Haagse Pandbrigade

In May 2012 IDHEM started a project in collaboration with the Haagse Pandbrigade of The Hague Municipality. The Haagse Pandbrigade works to improve the livability and safety in The Hague’s (poorer) neighbourhoods. In this project addressesare selected which have issues with housing. An enforcer of the Haagse Pandbrigade checks these addresses for problems together with an IDHEM volunteer. The volunteer helps to identify the problem and informs the residents about the investigation and its possible consequences. An significant aspect of the whole process is that the volunteer can address the residents in their own language as the selected addresses are occupied by Poles, Bulgarians or Romanians. In addition the volunteer can bring the inhabitants in contact with IDHEM if other problems or questions occur.  Beforehand the volunteers from IDHEM get a workshop from the Haagse Pandbrigade in the Municipality Den Haag. 

Information Centre for EU Migrant Workers

Since 22 april 2014, newcomers from the European Union are able to visit the Information Centre for EU Migrants Workers at the City Hall of The Hague (Spui 70). The center is a follow-up of IDHEM’s consultation hours, which migrant workers can visit for information and assistance in the area of housing and employment. Volunteers of IDHEM gladly welcome newcomers at the information desk and offer them information about Dutch society and life in the Hague. This information is provided by a free information pack (in Polish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, English and Dutch) containing an information booklet about The Hague, a brochure about Dutch society and a participation declaration.

You can also visit the centre if you have a question relating to language, public information or job application training. In addition, the volunteers of IDHEM can explain why it is important that you register with the Municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) or take out health insurance, for example. They can also make an appointment for migrants who want to register at the BRP.