NewBees at Work: Learning Dutch among children at De Faam

When I enter the practical school De Faam in Zaandam and ask for Qin at the reception, the lady answers immediately: ‘Oh, she went grocery shopping with the children.’ As if it were the most normal thing in the world. But it’s not.

Story by: Gert Schouten, matcher Zaanstad

De Faam is a special school where children who learn a little less easily are prepared for an independent life in which they can get by just like everyone else. NewBees was therefore very happy with the internship that was offered. Qin was the first newcomer to take on this opportunity. She has been working for a couple of weeks now and I am here on a working visit. To see whether the mutual expectations came true, how Qin is feeling and whether things needs to be adjusted.

Qin was born in China, came to the Netherlands and does her utmost to find her place in Dutch society as soon as possible. That is going very well, only the language remains a point of attention.

That is why NewBees was looking for a place where people talk a lot. That goes well with the children of De Faam.

Although they do a lot themselves, they do most together. Groceries for lunch, setting up tables, tidying up, keeping the coffee and tea corner in order and many more tasks. And Qin helps them with that.

Meeting with Qin and Koen

When we sit at the table with Koen from De Faam, it is a pleasant bustle around us. Hesitantly, Qin begins to speak, searching for a word here and there, but I can see the enthusiasm in her eyes. The children were a bit hesitant at first, but after a few days they really liked it. They help Qin find the righ words. In addition, they enjoy going out with her to do some shopping, for example.

Koen is also very satisfied.

‘She really is an asset to the school’.

Days at work

He only thinks 4 days a week might be a bit much for Qin. She hesitantly agrees on the other side of the table. Qin seems to have a hard time saying that, but that’s exactly what we’re here for! ‘Shall we make it 3 days? You’re learning so many new things, and also going to language school. That is quite a lot.’ ‘That would be great’, she says with relief. ‘If there is something, you can always send me a message via WhatsApp. Koen can also always approach me. We are here for you.’

We agree to meet again in about 8 weeks. When I say goodbye to Koen, I see Qin with the children working to straighten the tables. The bell for the break rings. A great internship where Qin can learn a lot and which also really contributes to this beautiful school.

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