Empowering lives through language: My ESG journey as a Dutch language buddy

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Kariem Hamad – Meet Our Team

Business Engineer

My inspiration stemmed from individuals at Rabobank and a former colleague who shared their rewarding experiences as language buddies. Intrigued by the idea, I signed up with Humanitas, had an introductory meeting with my language buddy, and our connection was immediate.

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I leverage my ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) commitment by volunteering as a language buddy, supporting a Turkish political refugee in mastering the Dutch language. Since May, I’ve dedicated one hour per week at the Utrecht library through Humanitas, a leading Dutch organization specializing in diverse support and assistance services across the Netherlands.

I highly recommend this volunteer opportunity to those interested in supporting language learning. Whether you’re passionate about helping others acquire a new language or are fluent and willing to assist others in language improvement, this role offers a meaningful way to give back.

Have you learned anything from your ESG hours?

Reflecting on my ESG hours, serving as a language buddy has provided profound insights. I work with a refugee who fled due to political unrest, reinforcing our privilege here, irrespective of political leanings. This experience has deepened my understanding of personal freedom.

Do you want to convey anything to others?

To share a message with others, the satisfaction derived from assisting those less fortunate, like my buddy with learning Dutch, is immeasurable. It’s a chance to feel valuable and contribute meaningfully to society.

What does one of those hours look like? As in, what is the potential schedule for such an hour?

From Humanitas, we receive booklets with practical exercises, covering scenarios like phone conversations and job applications. Over 3-4 weeks (1-2 hours per week), we role-play these situations, and I guide my buddy in improving his Dutch proficiency. Following completion, we receive a new booklet, maintaining a dynamic learning process at the B1/B2 level.”

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