What is Cocktail?
Cocktail is a social network developed by COC for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Intersex) asylum seekers, refugees, and newcomers.
What are Cocktail’s goals?
- Cocktail wants to help reduce the isolation that LGBTI newcomers might feel in their community and introduce them into the Dutch society in a safe way.
- Cocktail wants to help improve the social climate for/and the safety of, LGBTI newcomers and migrants in the Netherlands.
LGBTI people are being discriminated against and threatened in large parts of the world. In some countries they are imprisoned or even sentenced to death. Often fleeing is the only option. They have to leave family and friends behind for an uncertain future in a strange country. In addition, the sexual orientation or gender identification of LGBTI refugees is often not accepted or tolerated by their fellow newcomers, just like in their country of origin. This can lead to severe forms of threat, isolation, feelings of anxiety, depression or worse.
Cocktail organizes buddy-contact between an LGBTI newcomer and a Cocktail volunteer.
- After an initial interview Cocktail tries to find a suitable buddy, considering both the language and wishes of the newcomer.
- If there is a ‘click’ between the buddy and the newcomer, they can make arrangements about the activities that they want to do together, when and where etc.
Cocktail is fully run by volunteers. To achieve its goals Cocktail explicitly strives for collaboration with refugee and migrant organizations, as well as other aid organizations.
To guarantee the necessary integrity and quality, a Cocktail volunteer is screened carefully regarding motivation, suitability and trustworthiness. Courses and lectures are offered to the volunteers to improve their competence.
Cocktail buddies don’t offer legal, medical, mental or financial help. If needed, the newcomer will be referred to professional organizations.
Do you know an LGBTI newcomer who might be interested in Cocktail, or are you an LGBTI newcomer yourself? Please contact us! We welcome all reactions, questions and ideas.