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5 Interesting Volunteer Positions in Groningen!

Date:06 October 2020
Asmo volunteered as a student council member for SOG!
Asmo volunteered as a student council member for SOG!

There are many different ways in Groningen to spend some of the free time you have to spare. From joining a study or student association to playing on a sports team - there are plenty of ways how students keep themselves busy outside of the classroom. Besides being fun, many of these activities have the benefits of teaching certain skills that may be beneficial in your future career. In this blog, I want to introduce you to some cool volunteer opportunities in Groningen while also pointing out some resources on where to find other cool positions!

1. Het Overweeghuis 

‘Het Overweeghuis’ is a citizens initiative which aims to support women who want to exit prostitution in Groningen. In order to do so, this initiative operates a building in the south of Groningen where women working in prostitution can seek refuge and a support network which offers them new perspectives for their future. The goal of the Overweeghuis is to provide a temporary place to stay for these women, before directing them to other initiatives and projects which can provide aid on a long-term basis. Volunteers who sign up for this task are expected to help run the house by completing daily chores such as cleaning and cooking. Moreover, volunteers assist the professional staff working at the house and create a warm and understanding environment where the women seeking help can feel comfortable. 

2. Groningen Verwelkomt (Refugee Support)

Another great volunteer project is Groningen Verwelkomt, which provides a support network for refugees in Groningen. The goal of the project is to help refugees find their way in and around the city by organising various social and cultural events. Moreover, the initiators and volunteers often act as a mediator between the general society and refugees in certain situations. Volunteers fulfil a number of different tasks: from coming up with new initiatives to helping in administrative matters there are a lot of diverse tasks to choose from. 

3. ESN Introduction Guide 

If you want to help new students out while having a good time and meeting new friends, then you should definitely have a look at volunteering as an ESN (‘Erasmus Student Network’) introduction guide. ESN organises two introduction events per year, one in September and another one in February. During these five day events, new students coming to Groningen are shown around the city while participating in various social activities. Due to the pandemic, the intro week takes place in a different format than usually, but it is nonetheless a lot of fun. It is also a great way to volunteer. especially if you only want to help out in a project for a limited period of time.  

4.Free Cafe

The Free cafe is definitely one of my favourite initiatives here in Groningen. With the help of volunteers the free cafe organises, as the name already says, free dinners every Wednesday and Sunday. The crux is that the entire dinner is made from food which would have otherwise been thrown away. So not only is this project a great way to provide free food for people, but it also minimises food waste! Volunteers are needed to collect discarded produce from vendors, to cook the meals and do the dishes afterwards.     

5. Cat Cafe Groningen 

If you are more interested in animals than leftover food, you might want to have a look at helping out in the cat cafe instead. The folks over here are looking for enthusiastic volunteers/cat lovers who help to take care of the cats on a daily basis. From feeding to administering medication, cats are demanding animals that need a lot of looking after. Of course volunteers are also required to play with the cats while enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea after all of the hard work. If you really love cats but are not in a position to own one yourself, this is a really interesting volunteer opportunity.

& much more!

The volunteer positions listed above are only a few of dozens of cool ones that you can find in Groningen. There are several pages which list vacancies online. One of the best known is Vrijwilligers Groningen. However, you should also make sure to check out Link050 or initiatives coordinated by student and study associations.

Have you had experiences volunteering in Groningen? Do you know of any cool places where you can volunteer? Share your stroy in the comments below!

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently completing my double master's degree in European law and international law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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