Purpose Day: Takecarebnb
How did Takecarebnb arise?
‘In the spring of 2015 our initiator, Reinout de Kraker, saw the news about the refugee crisis and the number of people that sought refuge in the Netherlands. He noticed that there was a huge need among the Dutch population to roll up their sleeves and do something for them. The community wanted to give a signal of hospitality..
Reinout saw an opportunity, a form of supply and demand. Refugees were living in shelters and could not actively enter society until they had a home. People in the Netherlands wanted to take action and open their doors for them.
“A grand gesture of hospitality has indeed been made.
Reinout wondered if he could bring both parties together. Inspired by the Airbnb model he founded Takecarebnb. He wanted to provide newcomers temporary accommodation with a host family while awaiting their own home. It meant the refugees were waiting in a nicer environment at the same time as starting early with participating in society and thereby coming out of isolation. From this idea, Takecarebnb was born. A platform to connect people in a targeted way. We offer effective matching between guest and host family and look at wishes and expectations from both sides. We do this through our matchmakers; volunteers who guide the process from registration to placement.’
What reactions do you get from society?
“In general, we get a lot of positive reactions. As a grassroots organisation, we have seen that there has been enormous mobilisation at a local level. Countless people feel involved and have taken action. A grand gesture of hospitality has indeed been made. In the beginning, we had a somewhat hesitant reaction from Vluchtelingenwerk because we take care of people. They have since recognised that it is a method in which mutual integration is central and that it works. They are now also one of our financiers in 2017.
“It is about bringing people together in a very personal and careful way.
The initial restraint came from matching. It should be done very carefully because there is a lot of vulnerability. The past year we have shown that we can do that. It is about bringing people together in a very personal and careful manner. There have been many people who have opened their doors and contact is being created under close supervision. We are the only party in the Netherlands that mediates in this way.’
Is it a disappointment to start an initiative with a purpose like this?
‘We became operational in 2016 and had a year’s experience as previously mentioned. It is incredibly fun to do something, to be busy with something with a purpose like this. At the same time, you are kind of a social pioneer that is trying to do something different, that no one has tried before. Of course, there is going to be challenging aspects: how do you, as a starting organisation, win the trust of people? How do you start with a small but incredibly dedicated team and become a practicing organisation with actual working processes? How do you work with limited resources? We can proudly look back on the past year. This has everything to do with the enormous involvement of our team of volunteers, our board and everyone that raised us above the crowd.’
“Just go and do it, and do it together. Do it together with the newcomers, that is our vision.
What message do you have for others that want to contribute to society or refugees in particular?
‘Just go and do it, and do it together. Do it together with newcomers, that is our vision. We work closely with our target audience, respond to a clear demand, continue to listen to a changing need and keep considering how to move forward. Besides that, there is a lot of consultation with other organisations with the same objectives. To summarise: do it, go for it, work with the people who are involved, build an inclusive society and look for collaborations. ’