Cocktail Limburg is a so-called ‘buddy project’ by COC Limburg for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.
In many countries, LGBTI people are still being threatened, and discriminated against. Many countries even have punishments ranging from prison time, bodily punishments, or even capital punishment for members of the LGBTI community. This often is an important reason for people to flee to a safer country where they can be who they want to be.
Also within the Netherlands it isn’t always easy; both within the asylum centres as well outside of them they’re still not always being accepted by their peers, which can lead to further stress and feelings of loneliness and depression. Sometimes also (physical) threats are part of the issues LGBTI refugees face.
Cocktail puts new LGBTI-refugees in contact with a so-called buddy, a volunteer who almost always belongs to the Limburg LGBTI community themselves.
After an intake chat, Cocktail will try to find a suitable buddy, taking into account the background and language of the people involved.
Afterwards, a one-on-one meeting will be arranged, after which they’ll work together on looking at the needs and wishes for what activities will be done; when and where.
Cocktail regularly organises various events and activities to help create a social network as well as individual contacts between the various LGBTI refugees, while also helping them integrate with the Dutch LGBTI community. These meetings are private, only meant for the LGBTI refugees to guarantee them a safe space. Others can be invited by the coördinator, or the board member responsible for the bicultural LGBTI workgroups.
Cocktail is run entirely by volunteers, and to achieve its goals, Cocktail aims to have productive and positive relationships with other refugee and migrant organisations as well as other assistance-providing organisations.
In order to ensure the necessary quality that is needed to provide adequate help, every volunteer at Cocktail will be screened for motivation, compatibility, and reliability. To ensure knowledgeability, various lectures and courses will be organised for the volunteers, with regular intervision and evaluation sessions.
Cocktail does NOT provide legal, medical, psychological, or financial aid. However, where necessary we’ll try to refer you to the proper organisations that can provide help.
Joining in Cocktail activities is free of charge. Visitors to Cocktail events will be provided with a limited amount of free refreshments at our events.
Do you know an LGBTI refugee / asylum seeker who would be interested in joining in Cocktail activities, or who would benefit from them? Or are you yourself part of the target audience? Don’t hesitate to contact us, also for possible questions and ideas:
cocktail [@] coclimburg.nl
or call during office hours to: +31(0)43-3218337