Meet Arjan & Yama and find their plans for Techfugees in the Netherlands out!

Thanks to local partners, Techfugees already ran two hackathons in the Netherlands in 2016: one in Amsterdam and the other in Eindhoven.

Today, we are happy to give the floor to Yama and Arjan who are picking up the torch there and setting up a local chapter based in Eindhoven.

Interview 🎙


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Techfugees: Could you please introduce yourself and your team to the Techfugees community?

Arjan: We are a group of entrepreneurial people, based in Eindhoven, motivated to share our skills with the world and promote and facilitate entrepreneurship for the SDGs. We met at a conference where Yama spoke. After a few social adventures together, I decided to join him as co-chapter to build Techfugees’ local chapter here in the Netherlands and structure and growth our activities. He will keep the lead on public relations and I will take care of backstage stuff.

Yama: We are a complementary team 😉


How did you hear about Techfugees?

Yama: Techfugees former local ambassadors here in the Netherlands already organised events and hackathons. That’s how I heard about Techfugees the first time. Then I attended the Techfugees Global Summit last October in Paris. There I met the team and community and started the process to officially pick up the torch of Techfugees Netherlands’ chapter.


Which are the displaced people’s main needs in your country?

Arjan: The Netherlands welcome only a few numbers of refugees. Lots of them came for Syria. Yama and I are convinced that we urgently have to find a way to support their social and professional inclusion. It’s an essential step to allow them to secure their situation and to get back on their feet. They definitely have skills, we should use them. We think that technology can be a powerful catalyst of inclusion for refugees and displaced people. As part of Techfugees’ network, we will also advocate for more tolerance towards them and encourage entrepreneurship.


What are your projects for the next days, weeks and months?

Arjan: Setting up the chapter and involving more volunteers to build a sustainable organisation able to connect people and build new bridges with existing stakeholders.

Yama: Also, we are already cooking a hackathon next June! The challenge could be focused on solutions to facilitate job creation and job participation. We are discussing with governmental organisations as well as public library de Witte dame and universities to team up on this exciting project. More info will come soon, stay tuned!


With which kind of organization (tech, NGOs, universities, officials,…) do you plan to partner with?

Yama : NGOs helping refugees of course like Vluchtelingenwerk as well as universities (Technical University of Eindhoven, Design Academy Eindhoven, High Tech Campus Eindhoven…) and official organisations like Centraal Overlegorgaan Asielzoekers. We also are in touch with culture actors like the Contemporary Museum of Eindhoven, Madspace. We will also reach out to tech companies implanted locally like IBM, NXP, Philips, ASML as well as startups.


How can the Techfugees community help you? What are you looking for now?

Arjan: At this point, we are looking mainly for volunteers to grow and reinforce our chapter within our core team or for temporary missions. We would also like to be introduced to local stakeholders and learn from the Techfugees global community.

Yama: Looking forward to meeting you all!


Do you want to join Yama & Arjan and get involved in Techfugees’ chapter in the Netherlands?

Volunteers your skills 🙋‍♀️

Stay tuned on their coming hackathon and more by joining their Facebook group!


📇 Yama Saraj, Eindhoven, The Netherlands & Paris, France

Passionate about the management of creativity and innovation and applications of these for social good, Yama’s background is in development economics. He has been working in development assistance in countries like Afghanistan, Kosovo and DR Congo. He founds his passion for entrepreneurship and its importance and relevance for sustainable development.

Get in touch with Yama on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!

🗞 Learn more about Yama by reading his story #TFStories 


📇 Arjan Derks, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Arjan is a TU/e student at the Innovation Sciences faculty of Eindhoven that is both motivated and entrepreneurial Arjan hopes to apply his skills for making the world a better place for real and sharpen them in the process.




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