arbre a palabre


Arbre a Palabre community

About Arbre a Palabre

Cooperative Arbre a Palabre is a Dutch-based cooperative that was initiated by refugee and migrant women to support each other in their quest for better participation and integration in the Netherlands.

Out of the need for an inclusive and empowering environment, Kwetu was born. Kwetu is a survivor-led Women’s Safe Space established in the centre of The Hague. Kwetu offers a range of support and activities and offers a unique space where women and girls can grow and develop together.

The naming of Arbre a Palabre “The Palaver Tree” does justice to a form of the meeting which is deeply rooted in African culture. Under the Baobab, people get together to exchange experiences and discuss practical issues with respect and trust to build and strengthen each other. The combination with the swahili-word “Kwetu”means in dutch “Bij Ons” and in English “At Home “, embraces both our heritage and place called home away from home.

Created in 2015, against all odds, the Cooperative Arbre a Palabre has grown to include women without a migrant background and become a tool for women’s economic empowerment and community building. Through Kwetu, the Cooperative wishes to develop tools that facilitate women and their family’s access to the job market, start their own business and enhance their wellbeing.

At Cooperative Arbre a Palabre and Kwetu, we believe that empowering community start by allowing them to own their destiny by providing tools that enable them to build on their strength and contribute to society.

Our story

As Citizens of the world. We are all citizens of the world. We have one common dream: one humanity, a world that is good for all of us.

With each other. We believe in collaboration. That is deeply ingrained in our culture. As soon as someone had something, we were used to sharing it. We could live with little, so we quickly had something to share. And we have not forgotten that. We want to invest in ourselves and each other. Based on inclusion, we want to contribute to a better society, a better economy and thus a better world.

In a cooperative. A cooperative with which we help each other to master skills and qualifications that suit the environment in which we find ourselves. A cooperative in which we can gain work experience that contributes to our development. A cooperative from which we can start our own businesses and to which we can continue to contribute, so that others inspired by our path on their own path can also accelerate. And we can strengthen each other permanently. We are going to have to overcome obstacles. But as we overcome, we will be building a legacy for our children.

Mindful of Mandela’s wisdom: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chain, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” And breaking chains: “overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity; it is an act of justice”.

Committed to the Principle of “Leaving no one behind”. Leave no one behind (LNOB) as the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It represents the unequivocal commitment of all UN Member States to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and of humanity as a whole.

Our mission

CREATE a safe environment for refugee/migrant women and their families to feel at home in the Netherlands.

 PARTICIPATE in research, studies, discussions, forums, and other initiatives to increase a better understanding of migrant women and the issues that affect them.

 STIMULATE relationship between refugee/migrant women from different cultures, traditions, identities, backgrounds, and religion.

 BUILD a strong international network between refugee/migrant women organizations, to stimulate partnership and exchange of best practices.

 FACILITATE Refugee/Migrant women labour force participation entrepreneurship and education.

 SERVE a refugee/migrant women platform to enhance their participation and inclusion in a leadership position in the Netherlands.  

 ADVOCATE for a better service delivery response in a culturally and gender responsive way

 DEVELOP and MAINTAIN connections with community role models/peers.

 FOSTER STRATEGIC (INTERNATIONAL) PARTNERSHIPS among different stakeholders in the field of Migration/Development and Women, Peace and Security.