Dander sees diversity as a positive force. We have a clear view of when differences between people have the potential to be exciting/stimulating. At the same time we address situations when differences cause misunderstandings and difficulties. We help find solutions to let diversity become an advantage rather than an obstacle. Dander emphasises inclusion, meaning that we focus on the participatory voice of individuals as well as the quantitative aspect of diversity.
We are passionate about bringing about social change with our partners. We use our insights of social sciences to do so.
The projects that Dander develops and manages are characterised by their social relevance. Dander addresses the need to effectively manage diversity to increase social cohesion within an organisation, a neighbourhood or society. These are some examples:
Welcome to my Neighbourhood is an exchange programme for primary schools based on co-operative learning. It offers all participating children an opportunity to broaden their horizons and interact with children outside their own school, neighbourhood and social and ethnic group.
Help! A Gay Person, a project that fosters discussions about sexual diversity within groups with mixed religious and ethnic backgrounds. In an open conversation, participants exchange their ideas and experiences from their own cultural, religious or political backgrounds.
In the Junior Wijktour (‘Junior Neighborhood Tour‘), young local guides as diverse as the city itself guide locals, expats and tourists through their neighbourhood. How are the urban neighbourhoods evolving and do young and old inhabitants of the city really feel that that they belong? This tour opens up new perspectives for both the participant and the student guides and give the guides work experience. The tour can also be tailor made.
De Opstapweek (‘Week on the go’) focuses on senior citizens to reduce loneliness and isolation, and bring elderly citizens into contact with peers, neighbourhood residents and community activities. It combines local outings with training sessions (‘Dealing with Loneliness’).
Research, consultancy and knowledge transfer activity
Dander carries out research and provides consultancy for organisations that wish to develop effective policies for making use of diversity, or for reaching specific target groups.
The Vier het Leven (‘Celebrate Life’) Foundation organises theater and concert visits for senior citizens who are accompanied by volunteers. However, few immigrant elderly join. Is there interest in cultural outings and if so what to do to include a more diverse group of eldery.
The training sessions that Dander develops are lively, interactive and result-driven. They are founded on the principle of experience-based learning, which means that the participants learn by doing. In the trainings participants enhance skills to function effectively in a diverse society.
Dander has trained less-educated youth from different backgrounds to develop social and professional skills. For example Werkwijs, an intensive training where VMBO pupils work on social and communication skills with actual employers.
Selection of awards and publications
Welcome to my Neighbourhood was accepted for the inclusion in the Compendium of good practices in human rights education. The official title of the Compendium is: ‘Human Rights Education in the Schools Systems of Europe, Central Asia and North America: A Compendium of Good Practice’. In addition, it received the Award for Social Pionier by Oranje Fonds.
Dander was founded in 2005 by Sharon Polak, a social psychologist. The Dander-team is made up of specialists with a background in the social sciences. We are driven in developing practical methods which are based on scientific research. Are you interested to know how you can make diversity a positive force? Please contact us at:
Telephone number: 0031 (0)20 646 51 56