Set is a vibrant residential community. The goal of Set is to provide a good home for all residents and to create a community that benefits both the residents and the neighborhood. Together we undertake all sorts of things: language, language theater exchanges, cooking together, movie nights, playing games, you name it!
The Wereldhuiskamer is an informal, organically grown, community center with a lively and worldly “for the neighborhood by the neighborhood” program of activities.
The WHK is a place where status holders and all other neighborhood residents can meet, work together, practice Dutch and develop and has now become an Amsterdam example of informal integration and connection. Last year, together with the neighborhood, a fantastic outdoor meeting place was created: SET Community Gardens, a fantastic permaculture “experience and experience place” for residents, neighbors and also a large amount of children.
In addition to a wonderful vegetable and ornamental garden, there are also green play areas for the children. Previously a “nobody’s place,” this is now a place enjoyed by the entire neighborhood.
From the WHK an informal care network has also grown in which there is close cooperation with formal organizations (including GP, GGD, GGZ, various municipal departments, Dynamo).
“My name is M.C., I am from Pakistan. I have been living on Set since 2018.
When I came to live here, I didn’t know anyone. I needed help and walked in and met Mireille for the first time. We developed a very good relationship.
Later I also met Jeske: they are now the grandmothers of my children.
From 2019 I will be actively involved in the World House Room myself. I like to cook food for people. IJburg is a very nice place to live. I got to know a lot of people through WHK.”
How it began:
In 2018, nearly 200 young new Amsterdam residents received the key to their homes in the SET housing complex on IJburg . Half of them were Dutch, the other half consisted of young people from Eritrea, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Turkey, China, Pakistan (a total of more than 20 nationalities), among others, who had received permanent residence permits and wanted to build a new existence. The arrival of these new Amsterdam residents had a great effect. A group of active neighborhood residents and neighborhood initiatives stood up in 2018 and set to work organizing ‘neighbor for neighbor’ all kinds of social activities to support the newcomers in their integration as quickly and sustainably as possible. This ‘movement’ and its bottom up programming has grown into a strong and extensive network and a self-managed community center; a meeting place where about 2,000 people from the neighborhood, the entire city and beyond attend activities annually. About 50 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are active. Besides being a place where neighbors meet, the Wereldbuurthuis has also become a ‘breeding ground’ for the IJburg community. A place where you can experiment and where your wishes, dreams and talents are seen and given a chance to develop. But also a place where people who need support can get a free cup of coffee or wash-dinner and there is always a listening ear. Every IJburger is @Set!
“I have been involved with Set for several years now and have been a host for 2 years now. What I like so much is that I am increasingly included in the organization. I am also being facilitated to really start implementing my own wishes. Besides becoming more confident, I am also gaining all kinds of positive experiences in working with the municipality and other organizations. I feel like I’m getting more and more involved. I am now to the point where I want to take a training course. I am also supported in this. I was on the sidelines, now I am growing and thriving. I now support new hosts myself. Really super”. (Resident G. from Syria)
The impact value
According to the MAEX, the impact value of this initiative is E500,000 per year: the total amount that stakeholders collectively save or in regular economy would be willing to pay for such services and impacts, expressed in euros. This amount is an indication and is based on external sources, SCBAs, scientific studies, social price lists, etc. Therefore, the actual value of a specific situation may differ from this indication. For more information
“…What you guys do that we can’t do…Sometimes someone needs significantly more attention and care than we are allowed to give. You have built trust with very vulnerable residents and therefore sometimes doors open that remain closed to us. Our cooperation is therefore very important…”. (IJburg Neighborhood Team)
“N.A., a refugee from Syria, came to live in Amsterdam two years ago as a completely broken young man. Living independently went very badly for him. He did not pay his rent, could not sleep because of everything he had been through, sought distraction in drugs and fell into a very severe depression. The only people he dared make contact with were the local residents who were in the community center every day and whom he had met from day 1 in the World House Room during a welcome program. When I meet him now-after two years-I am very proud. On the local residents who supported him to feel safe again and especially proud of him! He has accepted professional help, found a job, is learning Dutch, has a Dutch friend and …he feels like living again” (social coordinator Mireille de Ruiter).
My work and hobbies
Placemaking, community-building, coach and trainer cultural entrepreneurship, (interim) business leader/cultural and social advisor
Pleasant environment but lots of bricks, limited views. I would like to green the environment and create more meeting places in the opnbare space.
A neighborhood that is green, social, creative and sustainable.
Consulting and training (cultural- and small) entrepreneurship, interim business management and project management, community-arts, creative- producing, concept development, administration, setting up and supervising participation projects, network-building, placemaking, cross-over and mullti-disciplinary projects (art, welfare, science, entrepreneurship).
I am a connector, a bridge builder.
A project leader, coordinator, business leader, consultant, community builder and facilitator.
Yes I have about 25 years of experience.
What sustainable measures have you already taken?
We have double glazing, underfloor heating and a heat recovery system. We don’t shower every day and always turn off the lights. The underfloor heating is programmed per day, on demand. We don’t heat higher than 19 degrees. Our garden is deliberately a bit wild with edible greenery and fruit, making it hospitable to birds, hedgehogs and insects.
My sustainable dreams
Ideally, we would like to become self-sufficient in energy step by step.
At the World Living Room and the vegetable garden.
To my mind, there are many islands on IJburg. What I hope is that if we create a nice neighborhood together everyone will feel at home faster, whether you are young or old, oldcomer or newcomer, straight or LGBTQ. For me, it’s important that everyone feels welcome. You can ask me all about the World Living Room, Set Community Gardens and Circular Café. Will you join me?
Erich Salomonstraat 135-151