Courses do not teach how to live in societ

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In the Netherlands, there are several citizens and organizations that take the initiative to express some kind of solidarity with status holders. With the integration policies moving towards a participation society, with more self-reliance on the citizens and more responsibilities for the status holders, it seems like the help of these initiatives are of great value. Yet, not all municipalities are aware of what these initiatives do and mean, and make use of or collaborate with the initiatives. This study examines the added value of local solidarity initiatives by looking at the kinds of help they offer, and by questioning what they mean to the municipalities, the status holders and the integration process. This is done by semi-structured interviews with twenty-eight representatives of initiatives and municipalities, and focus-groups with eleven status holders in three municipalities in the Netherlands: Delft, Haarlem and Leiden. By focussing on integration as a two-sided process and looking into the added value to this process from the perspective of status holders as well, three indicators of integration are used: finding a job, learning the Dutch language and being part of a community. The results of this study indicate that the initiatives are of great value for the integration process, especially when it comes to helping the status holders becoming part of a community. One of the reasons for this is that initiatives often have more time, energy and can deliver help that aligns with the needs of each individual status holder. Next to this, the focus of the initiatives is more on the social-cultural dimension whereas municipalities focus more often on the socio-economic dimension of integration. In this way, the initiatives fill the gaps in the integration policies, although the results of their efforts are not always measurable.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen