Together as a human family
Who are we?
Stichting Leids Steunloket Migranten (LSM) is a young, ambitious organization that offers support and assistance in the field of legislation, residence permits, humanitarian affairs and the translation from various languages into Dutch from certain cultural, social and legal concepts and expressions. We also provide information about Dutch education and social assistance for individuals or families who may need guidance in a settlement process. In addition, we stimulate the integration process and cultural exchange for everyone with well-attended activities such as the World Kitchen & social catering and a number of information and discussion evenings, accompanied by pleasant live music and a DJ.
LSM focuses on the following target groups:
Study migrants and trainee migrants
Regular migrants (MVV stay with partner or family member)
Migrant workers (guest workers)
Family migrants (family reunification and family formation)
LSM is a non-profit institution that offers its services free of charge. We strive to provide assistance and services in various languages: in addition to Dutch, English, Arabic, Tigrinya, and Persian, we are looking at French, Turkish, and more. LSM fulfills this role based on a combination of social and legal knowledge, social and cultural baggage, knowledge of the social map in the Leiden region and command of various languages of and by the volunteers.
Why do we do it?
The Leiden Migrant Support Desk believes that the modern approach to a multicultural society must be an interactive process between different cultures and people. We see ourselves as part of a global movement to build healthy, autonomous and local communities. Peaceful dialogue and mutual respect are the norm for all people regardless of our origin, color, religion or race. The issues of migration and diversity arise from a huge crisis that is not only taking place on the international stage, but is also one of the most important themes in Dutch society. The increase in racism and discrimination compared to the increase in mass migration ensures that themes such as migration and human rights must be seriously included on the political and social agenda of decision-makers.
Our mission is “Together as a human family.” We are one big family and the earth is our only home. In 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic illustrated how closely connected we are, both to each other and to the health of our planet and the natural world.
We look at migration problems from our own perspective, feelings and free voice. Our vision is to build a ‘modern social contract’ to achieve a humane, just structure so that together we can create the opportunities to achieve the sustainable development goals. We are thinking of poverty reduction, employment, decent work, fair wages for everyone, equal opportunities and treatment.
We at LSM noted that regular assistance and welfare organizations are often insufficiently accessible to migrants and that the voice of migrants about their needs and wishes is not sufficiently heard. The initiators of LSM believed that people with experiential knowledge and from the migrant community should take the initiative to organize accessible assistance for migrants in Leiden and the surrounding area.
We view migration problems from our own perspective. We want to create a new social cohesion and offer a new way of dealing with migrant problems, both locally and globally.
What are we doing?
The LSM strives to serve the general interest of our society with its objectives and activities. By offering a package of activities and facilities that contributes to the well-being of residents and is clearly and easily accessible. The needs of the residents and the situation in a neighborhood and area are central. All residents with a migration background or without a migration background can come here with a simple request for help, information and advice and can easily meet each other. So that they are enabled to participate in society and lead a meaningful existence. We contribute to a strong social basis in our society and in this way help build a society in which everyone has equal opportunities.
We help by:
To date, the LSM has set up the following core projects: the multilingual walk-in consultation hour, the Education Bridge, and the multilingual Energy Helpdesk, LSM in scientific research into migration. In terms of activities, we have: the World Kitchen & Social Catering Eetcafé, information evenings, live music/DJ activities, and Kids Oasis.
The Multilingual walk-in consultation hour
For immigrants who come to live in the Netherlands, it is a major challenge to master the Dutch language. Many migrants struggle with stacks of letters, run into administrative walls and struggle with loneliness. During the walk-in consultation hours we offer accessible services and assistance where clients are provided with information and advice, are referred or receive guidance.
The Multilingual Energy Helpdesk
The Energy Helpdesk is an extension initiative of the walk-in consultation hours of the Leids Migrant Support Desk Foundation.
Through the multilingual Energy Helpdesk, we reach as many different groups and multilingual migrants in Leiden as possible, so that they can indicate whether and to what extent they suffer from energy poverty and we give them useful tips and advice to save energy and spread knowledge about the energy transition.
LSM in scientific research
Migration in academic research is a project that offers space for scientific research into migration.
The Education Bridge project was established in October 2020 with the aim of bridging cultural differences by supporting the learning process in education. The project is an initiative of LSM, with the aim of promoting the learning process of younger migrants in the Netherlands.
World cuisine & Social Catering
The starting point of these activities is ‘Together we create the city – working on a green, social and enterprising Leiden.’ We contribute to a strong social basis in our society. LSM believes that in these times of loneliness and isolation it is important to continue to offer a perspective on the multicultural society. That is why the LSM board has recently set up two projects under the name “World Cuisine & Social Catering”
Kid oasis for children from 5 to 10 years old. These activities take place on the second and fourth Friday of every month in the Westerkwartier playground / Ten Katestraat 10 A Leiden.