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Himan feared for his life. Because of his work for a Kurdish human rights organisation, Iran’s secret service was after him. After a long period of moving through different refugee camps in Turkey and Iraq, Himan arrived in the Netherlands three years ago. He is one of the approximately 500 people that come to the Netherlands each year as a resettled refugee.

Within six months he had learned to speak Dutch and he wanted to go back to school. At present, he’s halfway through his Life Science studies at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences.

Watch Himan’s story


Without saying goodbye to her best friends, fourteen-year-old Ramona found herself in a detention centre for refugees. A year before that, her Iranian father had requested political asylum in the Netherlands.

She obtained her (pre-academic) high school diploma while she lived in the detention centre. She only received her permit of residence in her third year of medical school at the UMC Utrecht, the place where she’s currently doing her PhD research.

Watch Ramona’s story


Guinea’s dictatorial regime was not pleased with Ibrahim’s report on a fatal political rally. He realised he could only lose if he chose to confront this uncompromising regime. He fled and ended up in the Netherlands.

After two days in the refugee detention centre he started seeking out language lessons. He quickly made the decision to start for journalism studies again. At present, he’s in his third year at the Utrecht School of Journalism.

Watch Ibrahim’s story

Striving For A New Future

interactive web documentary by Emiel Elgersma.

Emiel Elgersma

Emiel Elgersma & Heinze Havinga

Jefta Varwijk

Theun Supheert & Wietze Koning