Action Research

Debt-Free and with an Outlook/Spirit

OpenEmbassy helps ten young people with a refugee background plan life after their 18th birthday.

On behalf of Nidos, Spirit cares for young boys and girls between 15-18 years of age, who fled to the Netherlands without their parents. Nidos acts as a guardian, and Spirit houses and guides them until they turn 18. Although a change in age is a strange indicator for maturity, it is then that these youths become adults in the eyes of the law. For young people who (still) need guidance and professional help, this is a colossal change. Not only does guardianship cease, but the Participation Act and the Wmo (Social Support Act) come into effect. Thus, the transition from 17 to 18 has many bureaucratic consequences, and unfortunately young people soon run into debt.

Spirit aims to grant these people a better start in their (bureaucratic) adult life and prevents them from starting it in debt. Together with OpenEmbassy, Spirit launched an action study in which ten young people aged 18 could be supported financially to prevent debts. They could pay Spirit ‘back’ by investing in themselves. OpenEmbassy sought to help them plan for their future and to set the necessary actions in motion.

While we managed to keep the ten youths out of debt, it was not all that easy. And the threat of debt was always due to poorly connected systems rather than their inability to manage money. With an investment of €3,500, Spirit prevented eight youths from losing their livelihood. However, we were unable to make a tangible future plan. These youths were under such pressure, that they were unable to make plans for the future when they had more pressing issues to think about, such as not losing their income, being safe, or having a roof over their heads.

Together with OpenEmbassy, Spirit launched an action study in which ten young people aged 18 could be supported financially to prevent debts.




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