December 16, 2022

The Netherlands: Afghan’s conclude job programme

Group photo at the closing event of the KabCare programme in Utrecht © 2022, SPARK

From uncertainty to settling down: 37 Afghan refugees in The Netherlands met up to discuss their experiences of navigating the asylum process, learning Dutch and finding employment in their new country.

On the 7th December, SPARK gathered with former Afghani employees of the Dutch embassy in Afghanistan, to celebrate the end of the KabCare programme, which supported the refugees in finding jobs in The Netherlands.

A year and a half ago, in August 2021, Taliban forces took control of the Afghan capital in Kabul, forcing the Embassy of The Netherlands, and many other embassies, to shut down operations and evacuate its staff. As a result, several former Afghani employees of the embassy were flown, along with their families, to safety in The Netherlands.

The KabCare programme, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was established to ensure a smooth transition of these skilled people into the labour market in their new country. The programme aimed to support the Afghan refugees to quickly integrate into the Dutch society, so that they could restart their lives again.

A year after the programme began, the group came together to mark the end of the programme and evaluate their experiences in accessing employment in The Netherlands. So what happened during this year?

Asylum process
Navigating the asylum system in The Netherlands was a challenge for many of the participants, due to the lack of space and resources at government-run asylum centres. Happily now, almost all of the participants are now living in houses with their families.

Over the past year, each person received tailored Dutch language courses to enhance their skills and enter the Dutch labour market. Now, almost everyone speaks Dutch! The children of the evacuated families are all enrolled in schools, and their Dutch skills are even better!

“When refugees come to a new country, they need a guide. I needed a guide, and I was very happy to have SPARK as an organisation to help us and guide us,” said one of the programme participants, Muzhgan.


Abdul Nasir Samadi, Afghan refugee and former Netherlands embassy staff © 2022, SPARK
Meri de Campos & Muzhgan Mehr © 2022, SPARK
Group photo at the closing event of the KabCare programme in Utrecht © 2022, SPARK
Group photo at the closing event of the KabCare programme in Utrecht © 2022, SPARK

New skills and jobs

The most essential element of this programme was helping the newcomers understand the job market in the Netherlands and upskilling them to enhance their employability. Each person received training, individual job coaching and professional education, and for some others, SPARK supported them to pass their driving test in The Netherlands, which opened even more employment opportunities.

“SPARK helped us with receiving training and knowing the market better. Most of my colleagues found jobs already, but I am still in the process of finding mine,” said Tahmeena Sattari, formerly the Gender Advisor of the Dutch embassy in Afghanistan.

As the KabCare programme comes to an end, SPARK is proud to have supported these brave people in their difficult transition to finding sustainable employment opportunities in a new country.

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