2022 was an interesting year for the social department. It started with a change in the coordination of the department and a change in strategy. Whereas until this year the department had been almost exclusively focused on helping individual cases, 2022 saw a shift to an approach aimed at informing the community about aspects of life in the Netherlands.

This change of approach came, somewhat naturally, as we assessed the referrals we were receiving and their nature. Most of them were about problems encountered by Romanians in the context of a work relationship in the Netherlands and (serious) problems arising from it.

Therefore, we have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to put more emphasis on the information side of the community in order to prevent problems arising from lack of information.

Based on this idea, we held our first webinar on 14 April, together with our partners at Fairwork, on the topic of "Seasonal Employment Contract in the Netherlands. Be careful what you sign!". For those interested, the seminar can be reviewed on the YouTube channel.

The series of webinars continued with another 'problematic' topic in practice, namely 'Health insurance in the context of the employment contract in the Netherlands', which took place on 27 October and was also conducted in partnership with Fairwork. This seminar can also be reviewed: Health insurance in the context of the employment contract in the Netherlands.

The autumn of 2022 also brought us a first in the social department, namely, the first project with a social theme approved and supported by the Department for Romanians Abroad.

This project provided the community with 2 seminars, one of which was held in physical format. Thus, on 17 November, we organized the online seminar "Student in the Netherlands", through which we wanted to provide useful information to Romanian students and future students in the Netherlands. During the seminar we had two students, Elizabeth - a student in a bachelor program - and Paul, a student in a master program, who shared with us their student experience in the Netherlands. The whole seminar is available for those interested on the YouTube of the Foundation. 

The project continued with a physical seminar, which took place on 26 November in Amsterdam and was held in the context of Romania's National Day, the seminar "Romanian in the Netherlands". Since we want to reach as many Romanians as possible, we chose to broadcast this seminar online on the Foundation's Facebook page.

The guests, Alina Totti (international relations and labour market advisor) and Alex Voicu (academic - University of Amsterdam), provided us with valuable information about the labour market in the Netherlands and the perspective of a professor in Dutch academia.

In addition to these activities, we have remained constant in helping Romanians in the community who have contacted us with various problems. Some cases have even been solved with help from the community, which we are very happy about.

In conclusion, we can characterise 2022 as a good year from the social department's perspective. However, we know that there is always room for improvement so we look confidently to 2023.

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