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The Joy

we invest in the development, resilience and well-being of children

We believe it is important that every child can express themselves freely and safely and be themselves without worries. When you grow up in an asylum seeker center (azc), that space is often not there. Together with the De Vrolijkheid foundation, we invest in the development, resilience and well-being of children in a place that can sometimes feel hopeless.

Growing up in an asylum seekers' center is not always easy. Asylum seeker centers cannot be compared to a normal home situation as many children in the Netherlands know. The living areas are small, there is little privacy and sometimes you cannot cook or eat yourself when you want to. There is often little to do for children and boredom quickly sets in. Moreover, you may sometimes feel sad or anxious, and it is difficult to make new friends. The need for contact, self-expression and a positive outlet is therefore extra strong in asylum seekers' centers.

Through dance, theater, music, new media and visual arts, together with De Vrolijkheid, we provide safe places where young asylum seekers' centers can be creatively themselves. We see the children blossom, they are completely absorbed in the activities and they make creations that they are proud of. Their self-confidence grows as they discover new talents and make new friends. The workshops provide a moment of peace and cheerfulness, which contributes to the resilience of these children. They learn to express themselves and develop their creativity, which they can rely on for the rest of their lives.

Hasti (13 jaar)

“By being myself I was suddenly in the spotlight!”

“When I was six years old, I fled from Iran with my parents and my sister. We ended up in an asylum seekers center in Den Helder and we lived here until I was 12. I often participated in De Vrolijkheid workshops. It always felt like a safe, happy place to meet friends, have fun and be creative together. During one of the workshops I met Sam, he is a filmmaker. I always liked acting and Sam asked if I wanted to be in his short film 'Ask the Wind'. Of course I wanted that! I got the leading role and that was great fun, but sometimes also a bit exciting. During the recordings I learned to express my emotions. It felt very special that someone wanted to listen to me and that our story, that of an Iranian family in an asylum seekers' center, was made into a film. By being myself I was suddenly in the spotlight. We have received a residence permit, so we can continue to live in the Netherlands. I'm very happy about that, I wanted nothing more than that. Well, becoming an actress, but that worked out too!”

Meryam (6)

“I like dancing because it loosens up my legs; otherwise they would be stuck to my stomach!”


“The film we made is so beautiful! These tears are good
and I want to show the film to everyone.”

Mirjam (workshopleider)

“The parents really felt like children again and that made everyone happy.”

together we give children superpower

For 100 years