Cocktail is a buddy project from COC Midden-Nederland for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) asylum seekers and refugees
LGBTs are being discriminated against and threatened in large parts of the world. In some countries they are imprisoned or even sentenced to death. Often fleeing is the only option. They have to leave family and friends behind for an uncertain future in a strange country. In addition, the sexual orientation of LGBT refugees is often not accepted or tolerated by their fellow newcomers, just like in their country of origin. This can lead to severe forms of threat, isolation, feelings of anxiety, depression or worse.
Cocktail wants to help reduce the isolation that LGBT newcomers might feel in their community and introduce them into the Dutch society in a safe way. Next to that, Cocktail wants to help improve the social climate for/and the safety of LGBT newcomers and migrants in the Netherlands.
Cocktail organises buddy contacts between LGBT newcomers and Cocktail volunteers. After an intake interview Cocktail tries to find a suitable buddy, considering both the language and wishes of the newcomer. Also volunteers receive an introduction to the project and are asked for their wishes regarding a buddy contact. If there is a ‘click’ between the buddy and the newcomer, they can decide on what to do together, how often and where they want to meet etc.
By organising meetings and activities, such as movie nights, weekend vacations, or game nights, Cocktail wants to create a social network where people can be themselves and feel accepted. This is hopefully a pleasant way of integrating into Dutch (LGBT) society.
Do you want to support Cocktail as a volunteer or do you have further suggestions and ideas? Let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org