My mother has been a language buddy forever and I followed her in her footprints on this one.
Alpha and I met each other each week for 1 hour for 2 or 3 years as he came to live in my neighborhood and needed support to learn Dutch. I love languages and had submitted my request to be a language buddy voluntarily.
I have this overall feeling to everyone that my wish is that they feel welcome here in the Netherlands. It is a profound feeling, even if I am in groups I keep an eye out on everyone. Inclusion, harmony and connection are the most important feelings when in group.
In the end, Alpha told Vluchtelingenwerk he learnt more with me once per week than his weekly 3 times at school. In 2013 Alpha and I were invited to talk on stage with the director Tineke Ceelen from Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland / Stichting Vluchtelingen during a gathering for language buddy’s and buddy’s to meet each other. Alpha passed his ‘inburgeringsexamen’ and I couldn’t be more proud!
In my eyes, everyone who is available for a few hours in the week, could be of value to someone else in the community on voluntarily base. Compassion and be of meaning to those in need.. You could both learn from each other so always a win win situation.
At the moment I am a buddy for two women from Argentina and Iran.