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Newcomer Development Programme
Professional development and coaching for refugees, supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation
A diverse group of Deloitte colleagues teamed up with the Stichting English Academy for Newcomers to participate as mentors in the Newcomers Development Program. The purpose of this programme is to help newcomers with a refugee background not only continue the lives they had before having to flee but to thrive here in the Netherlands. The initiative was started by Deloitte colleague Philip Wozny and is supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation.
Deloitte lends a helping hand
The purpose of the Newcomers Development Program (NDP) is to help newcomers with a refugee background not only continue the lives they had before having to flee but to thrive here in the Netherlands. Philip Wozny, Analyst within Deloitte's Tax department started this initiative that is supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation.
Philip: "Deloitter’s and newcomers are matched one to one. Together they map out a professional development action plan, pursue the goals laid out, and grow together as a team. So far, we have seen that participants have a very diverse set of professional backgrounds, such as engineering, communications, accounting, and IT. Thankfully, Deloitte is a large organization with specialists of diverse backgrounds so that we can meet the needs of the participants."
Growth on both sides
The NDP helps newcomers bridge the gap between the asylum seeker center and the university / office. One mentee reported that "The Newcomers Development Program is very useful for me as a newcomer and for society. … [it] makes the integration into the Dutch society not only faster, but also more enjoyable."
The mentees aren’t the only ones developing themselves through the Newcomer Development Program. Indeed, being a mentor is an opportunity to learn how to promote the autonomy of another. Take it from one of our Mentors Jiehua He, who “…start[ed] to develop this 'skill' as when to give advice and when not to do so, this in order to empower the other to develop their own sense of assessment and independence. After all, this should be the goal of mentorship.”
Knowledge base for refugees
This year a "wiki style" knowledge base was built to prepare NDP mentors in guiding their mentees. The knowledge base covers information on topics such as financing opportunities, legal procedures and the education system. Philip: 'In the first year of the Newcomer Development Program, we found that our very diverse group of mentees faced equally diverse obstacles. Some mentees had recently completed their studies and were already on the job hunt, others were still navigating bureaucratic procedures. Overcoming these obstacles was a learning opportunity for both mentees and mentors, who had to research legal procedures and microfinancing opportunities among other subjects. We do not want that knowledge to go to waste. Therefore, we sought out a solution that can allow that knowledge to grow and be used by future mentors and mentees: the knowledge base.
If you have ever used Wikipedia, then you have an experience with a knowledge base. Essentially a knowledge base stores information and grows as users contribute. Quality of information is maintained by moderators who edit the contributions. The moderators are researchers from the Hague University of Applied Science. Thanks to this knowledge base and the dedicated team of Deloitte volunteers, the Newcomer Development Program will become a one stop shop for useful information for refugees and those working with refugees.'
Deloitte Impact Foundation
Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte is committed to bring a positive impact to society. We share our core competences, knowledge and network in societal initiatives to make an impact in the fields of education & employment, sustainability and endurability. Read more about the Deloitte Impact Foundation and view our other initiatives.
Newcomer Development Programme
There are lots of ways to contribute to the Newcomer Development Program. You can participate as a mentor and be matched with a mentee based on your experience and their goals. If you are particularly knowledgeable about refugee policy, legal procedures, or financing opportunities among other subjects, you can also contribute directly to the knowledge base as a writer or mentor. In either case, please contact Phillip, via the contact details below.