If Dutch lessons are within walking distance, Zeynep and Khadija do come. With great pleasure, in fact.
“I don’t make perfect sentences. But I can now manage in Dutch in the supermarket”, Zeynep proudly says. Her progress is the result of the project Taalles om de Hoek (language lessons around the corner), which after Woensel and Bennekel also recently started in the Lakerlopen district.
“You have to imagine that for many people it is a big obstacle to take the bus to a further away location. That is why this class is such a success”, Nienke Bruisma, initiator, says.
Many participants have not had much education, sometimes because it was not available. Others could, but were not allowed. Like Zeyep: when asked why she did not start language lessons earlier, she gestures to her husband and imitates his frown. She waves a quasi-angry finger. “He wouldn’t let me”, she says. “But he does now”.
The volunteers who help with the language lessons also come from the same neighbourhood, which makes the involvement and atmosphere even better. Bruinsma: “That’s what makes it so pleasant and fun; everyone is from the neighbourhood here. The whole district gets to know each other”.
And indeed. Zeyneb has not only learned language, but has also made friends. That is exactly what the project is about.
Thanks to the language lessons and the sociability surrounding them, Zeyneb’s husband has now also dropped his scepticism. He is not only happy with lessons for his wife, but is also considering signing up himself.
Due to the great interest in the project, the initiator is now looking for possibilities to expand.
Translated by: Bob