Agashnee Bodos stepped in as coordinator of Delft MaMa’s revamped SLiDe programme earlier this year. SLiDe, short for “Soft Landing in Delft”, was originally designed to provide mentorship for newcomers to Delft in order to ease their transition. We’ve asked Agashnee to explain a bit about the revamped programme, what she expects to see in the future, and how you can help.
At the moment Agashnee is on maternity leave with her first child. We wish her all the best, and look forward to her return later in the year.
by Agashnee Bodos
Have you ever found yourself moving to another country? It appears exciting and daunting at the same time. It makes you wonder, where do I begin, what do I need to do and what support is there is around for me?
I am no expert at being an expat, but having lived in 3 different countries, each time it has been a great experience although challenging in the beginning. Following my move last year to the Netherlands, I found myself again on a sharp learning curve. I used groups to ask questions and wanted to give back something to the community. So when I discovered the opportunity to become involved with Delft MaMa, I jumped at the chance. Delft MaMa has identified the need to feel part of a community when you are establishing yourself in a new country and developed a programme designed to help newcomers.
Soft Landing in Delft (SLiDe)
Soft Landing in Delft (SLiDe) is a free tailor-made mentoring programme consisting of six sessions up to two hours each. It has the pros of a local showing you around, answering your questions and providing support. This maybe a person of Dutch nationality or another expat who has lived in Delft for a period of time and hence has experienced the same as you may be facing. We know from experience no question is ‘too silly’ to ask. I assist in coordinating the project. We are always looking to help newcomers and also reaching out to find volunteers who will be willing to become mentors.
What do I see happening with SLiDe in future?
We are keen to relaunch the programme with fresh new ideas and ways we can assist the greater community more. The direction of the programme is to hold a space on a monthly basis for SLiDe mentors to welcome newcomers. Participants will then have an opportunity to join Delft MaMa’s free soft landing mentorship program and also receive information about events/activities Delft MaMa offers to the international community living in Delft.
I would also like to see the mentors get together more frequently at nights out and share their experience with each other. Feedback from the mentee/newcomer is essential for our development.
How can you help?
Flyers have been developed and we want to assist more families and gain more mentors to lend a helping hand to reduce the impact of moving abroad. If you would like help or would like to become one of the mentors on the program, please visit the website or email us.
While writing this post I am due to go on maternity leave. I am looking forward to taking the project further on my return with exciting prospects in the interim. We have a short-term replacement for my role, but if you would like to help in this role, please contact us!
Agashnee, originally from South Africa, came to the Netherlands by way of the UK. As a speech therapist and children’s yoga and mindfulness instructor, Agashnee is always keen to help kids grow and develop. Having recently moved, Agashnee experienced what is like to be a newcomer and is passionate to use her knowledge in supporting anyone in the same situation. As coordinator of the Soft Landing in Delft (SLiDe) Project, she aims to help newcomers settle through a mentoring program and build social networks.
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