At the office at Hoog Catharijne in Utrecht, on behalf of the VINCI Foundation NL, Edwin van Merriënboer of Axians handed over the cheque to Bright Richards and Jan Pirot of New Dutch Connections for the purchase of IT equipment and furniture to set up IT Academies.
Established in 2004, New Dutch Connections (NDC), looks to bring young asylum seekers and refugees, committed citizens, companies, organisations and local initiatives in contact with each other in order to create a valuable mutual understanding. NDC’s purpose is to develop a sustainable empowering community with these agencies and individuals around the young asylum seekers. NDC empowers and inspires these young people to take charge of their own lives so that they are not indefinitely on hold. It is very important for young people between the ages of 15 and about 30 that their personal and professional development does not come to a halt. NDC does this by providing weekly training courses, an individual coaching programme, excursions to companies, organisations and training courses, guest lectures.
Bright Richards, co-founder of NDC: “The people you meet in a country determine your future. If you meet criminals in the new country, there is a big chance that you will become one yourself. If you meet IT staff, there is a greater chance that you will get into IT yourself. Thanks to VINCI Foundation NL, the help of Axians employees and the IT Academies, many young people are being given a new chance in the Netherlands.”
The sponsorship of VINCI Foundation NL makes it possible to give IT training courses in several places in the Netherlands and get closer to the home of the young people.
Rens Groenveld of Axians, as sponsor, brought this project to the attention of the VINCI Foundation NL. He has this to say: “What I really enjoy seeing is that an idea that started small has grown into something so big and beautiful. Initially, NDC and I planned to organise an evening at the Axians office, during which we could introduce refugees to programming. When we came into contact with VINCI Foundation NL, the idea snowballed. Why stop at one evening of fun, when together we can make it a lifelong pleasure? I’m convinced that this project will help many people with their integration in our society, their career path and their personal enthusiasm.”