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Dear Kevin,

Thanks! I like your "My best friend in the World" concept and we definitely have some perspectives in common. However, the refugee landscape in Europe is quite different compared to Colombia (most refugees come from very different cultural backgrounds here and for many of them it takes a number of years to learn a local language, supported by welfare) and this is why Refival follows another approach (of which some elements may also be useful in Colombia).

Establishing the network of alliances in the current "political agenda" climate of border protection and return of refugees in Europe is indeed quite a challenge and my infrastructural approach simply does not work without all stakeholders on board.

On one side, one can see this as a weakness, but I see it as a strength to focus on better spending of existing (poorly spent) budgets (billions of USD) rather than to find new sources of money.

Further, if I manage to get a successful pilot-project going, this alliance approach makes it possible to easily scale and duplicate, which is of course essential to have sufficient impact because there is the potential to revitalize thousands and thousands of villages in Europe....

At first sight one may wonder why to bother about absorbing 100-500 people/refugees in a single village, but if one realizes that 45 million people left the countryside in Europe over the past 50-60 years, the rural "incubation" capacity looks very different. This explains why the approach must be an infrastructural and scalable one instead of an isolated local NGO project.

This, of course, takes initially more time to setup and for the moment I am still lobbying, meanwhile reaching more than 1000 policy makers and influencers with my newsletters.

If you are aware of any stakeholders (central and local government, private sector, rural communities and refugees) that could be interested, please let them get in touch with me!

Kind Regards,

Hans van Nieuwkerk


Johannes Cornelis commented on SPEAK

Dear Hugo,

Thanks, if you need any support or supporting materials from my side please let me know!



Johannes Cornelis commented on Refugee College Guidance Counselors Initiative

Dear Ella & Sadiki,

Thanks! Always happy to get in touch with like-minded people!