Here to Support wins the Ab Harrewijn Prize

Last Friday, Here to Support received the Ab Harrewijn Prize 2016. This was announced during a ceremony at the Pauluskerk in Rotterdam. We are pleased and honored Here to Support has been noticed among the 38 proposed initiatives. The sum of 5000 euro associated with this award will certainly be well spent to set up own Refugee Media Platform.

The prize was awarded this year for the 13th time to an organization that has deployed in an original way to people in need in our society. Ab Harrewijn, politician for GroenLinks, died of a heart attack in 2002. In his work he was heavily involved in people at the ‘bottom’ of society, such as the homeless, addicts and benefit claimants.

From the jury: “Here to Support organisation derives from a group that can hardly exist on the fringe of society, rejected asylum refugees can not return even to their own country. According to the jury it is special how the focus of Here to Support does is not on humanitarian support – how important it is – but on creating perspective through cultural expression and education. For example, a group of people deemed to be invisible, audible and resilient. They show that you, even if others reject you, you can uphold dignity by joining forces. “

Poetic performances in Felix Meritis


On Friday November 27 We Are Here staged some poetic performances during the ‘Nacht van de Rechtstaat’ in Felix Meritis. These performances were based on poetry they wrote during their reading group, and were staged as short poetic interventions in different spots in Felix Meritis during that night’s program. Connecting to the theme of the ‘Nacht van de Rechtstaat’ – exclusion from the constitutional state – their poetry articulates the daily reality of exclusion that We Are Here encounters in the Netherlands.

Many thanks to the organization for giving us a stage, and to Coco Duivenvoorde for the wonderful pictures!

We Are Here winter crowdfunding

Last week was the kickoff of We Are Here’s winter crowdfunding campaign. For the last three years the group was supported by donations, but now their account is empty. With this campaign We Are Here has to raise the funds necessary to continue their protest for social and political rights for refugees in limbo. They need this money buy provide basic daily needs, like food, clothes and toiletries.

The campaign will run until January 13 and in the meantime we will organize a lot of activities: for example benefit parties and dinners, flyer actions and auctions.

Please support We Are Here and help them through the winter!

Donate to the campaign via onepercentclub and/or share the campaign within your network.

First meeting international refugee collectives

Photos Katarína Galisinová

Last weekend we had a lovely time with our new friends from Hamburg, Brussels, and Berlin. Thanks for visiting us!

Representatives of the refugees from Oranienplatz in Berlin, the refugees from ‘Lampedusa in Hamburg’, and the ‘sans papiers’ collectives from Brussels visited We Are Here in Amsterdam. Together they shared experiences about living in limbo in different European countries and set the first steps towards the realization of the ‘We Are Here Occupying the Border’ forum.

We’ve heard inspiring stories about the protest movements in different European cities. Everyone was really enthusiastic about the idea of an international forum and with a head full of ideas we look forward to continue developing the ‘We Are Here Occupying the Border’ forum together.

In early 2016 we’re planning new visits to Brussels, Hamburg and Berlin and meet even more members of the refugee collectives there.

Nacht van de Rechtstaat

A few weeks ago, a small group of students from the We Are Here Academy and Coco Duivenvoorde formed a reading group. In their weekly sessions they collect and read stories, poems and other texts that inspire them, and use those to write their own powerful texts. The reading group sets out to explore the role of language in protest. For example, how can poetry represent and strengthen the We Are Here protest?

On Friday November 27 We Are Here will be present at the fifth edition of the ‘Nacht van de Rechtsstaat’. The theme of this evening is exclusion from the constitutional state. We Are Here will give five performances based on the stories and poetry they wrote during their reading group.

Order your ticket for ‘Nacht van de Rechtstaathere.

Please note that except for We Are Here’s poetic performances this program will be in Dutch.

A Normal Dinner

Photos Coco Duivenvoorde

The We Are Here Cooperative is working on a new theater play called ‘Normal Life’. Together with Katy Streek, We Are Here will develop and produce a theatrical piece about the pursuit of ‘a normal life’. It will take the audience on a journey through Amsterdam searching for a normal life while at the same time it investigates what it means to have a ‘normal life’. Why do some have it while others do not? What is normal about a normal life?

‘Normal Life’ relates closely to the We Are Here protest and their fight for a normal life. For years they’ve protested their position in the Netherlands by asking for recognition of their rights.

Although the script is still in progress, last Thursday (October 8) visitors of the Afrovibes Festival in Amsterdam could already get a literal taste of the new production during a theatrical dinner at the Compagnie Theater. During this ‘normal dinner’ three actors performed a couple of scenes from the play while the audience enjoyed a delicious Eritrean dinner.

This fall, the We Are Here Cooperative will launch a crowd funding campaign for the production of the full theater play. ‘Normal Life’ will premiere in January/February 2016.

Updated website

It was long overdue but it’s finally here: the updated Here to Support website!

Now you can read all about our newest projects and take a look at the updated photo slideshows. Our news page is also making a fresh start, from now on we’ll keep you posted about the newest courses at the We Are Here Academy,  the preparations of the We Are Here Occupying the Border forum and all other Here to Support activities on our news blog.