The People for People Foundation is a group of entrepreneurs who work to help individuals of all nationalities who are looking for safety and refuge in the Netherlands by taking steps to provide for their basic requirements and provide decent and respectable living circumstances.
According to People for People, the flood of migrants from Ukraine has exposed a significant underlying issue with the Netherlands’ refugee reception system, including a lack of information for refugees, overcapacity, and a disjointed approach depending on the place of origin. Currently, 140 places host about 44,000 asylum seekers who lack access to the necessities of daily life.
Earlier this month, the organisation took matters into its own hands and sent 1,000 emergency packages to Ter Apel with blankets and toiletries. The Foundation hopes to structurally address the reception problem with the shift in the direction it announced today.
First and foremost, People for People emphasises the value of listening. Second, about providing information (so that refugees know where they stand). And third, making sure everyone is included (involving the people affected in creating solutions). Additionally, the collective will keep setting up meals, outfits, and accommodations as needed. It aims to find solutions to pressing issues, like what we are currently witnessing in Ter Apel.
Ali Niknam, entrepreneur and one of the founders of People for People, says, “We saw the degrading situation in Ter Apel and could no longer look away. As entrepreneurs, we are used to responding quickly to changes. That is why we were able to map out within 24 hours where the need was greatest and we immediately took action.”
People for People aspires to create a number of fresh projects in the upcoming weeks to enhance living conditions at the reception facilities and provide a humane welcome for all refugees and asylum seekers in the Netherlands.
Additionally, the group is also searching for structural answers to the issues that have emerged and have grown more obvious as a result of the refugee inflow. To do this, the foundation collaborates with a wide range of businesses and volunteers, as well as, for instance, with parties on the ground like Vluchtelingenwerk, the COA, and the Red Cross.
Foundation Director Marcella Simons, says, “Our mission has always been to help as many people in need as possible, regardless of their background. So we sprang into action and saw firsthand how dire the situation really was. We then decided to look at how we can structurally contribute to a solution to the problem with our entrepreneurial approach.”
Joining the People for People collective through WhatsApp is open to innovative companies as well as regular people who wish to help solve these issues.
Brief about People for People
Founded in 2022 by Ali Niknam (CEO bunq), Joris Beckers (CEO Picnic) and Robert Vis (CEO Messagebird), People for People was established shortly after the war in Ukraine started, the entrepreneurs took the initiative to start the foundation to help people affected by the conflict with, for example, places to sleep, food, transport, free bank accounts and SIM cards.
Additionally, the foundation supports the expansion of the effect of groups like Lifeline Ukraine, Netherlands for Ukraine, and Movement On The Ground.
Tens of thousands of individuals have received aid from People for People overall. For instance, more than 11,000 bank accounts were created, 500 children were given access to school, and more than 135,000 items for food, babies, and hygiene were distributed. The Foundation also provided 130,000 lunches and assisted more than 170 people in finding employment.