At the yearly VluchtelingenWerk Awards, the municipality of Utrecht was one of the contenders for the category ‘Municipalities’. The municipality has been very involved with refugees for years. Plan Einstein is one of their greatest successes. According to VluchtelingenWerk, Plan Einstein is an innovative and inspiring project, that involves Overvecht residents in a great way.

Plan Einstein is an EU innovative project of Gemeente Utrecht and partners to improve integration and accommodation for asylum seekers. Living and learning together from day one: that’s what Plan Einstein makes innovatory. At the property in Overvecht, residents of a refugee center live together with 38 students and youngsters. The Incubator Space on the ground floor serves as meeting and activity space for youngsters, refugees ánd district residents from Overvecht. There’s a wide variety of English language courses, entrepreneurial courses and interactive workshops available for asylum seekers and district residents.

The jury of VluchtelingenWerk appoints that Utrecht inspires other municipalities to improve integration options for their refugee residents. The organization is aware that setting up Plan Einstein hasn’t been easy, because of the resistance of Overvecht residents. The solution was to involve these residents by joint use of accommodation and facilities. It’s a successful project that works together closely with COA, VluchtelingenWerk and other organizations to make improvements along the way. According to the organization, living and learning together really does improve integration. VluchtelingenWerk has great appreciation for the municipality for setting up this project, despite the experienced resistance.

Vluchtelingenwerk wants to create awareness with their yearly awards for powerful projects and people that contribute to a successful participation of refugees in our society. Read here more about Plan Einstein and VluchtelingenWerk!