Category Archives: Geen categorie

Open day at Wij Heemstede

The new season of WIJ Heemstede will start on Wednesday September 12. That season starts with an open day and on that day there is also a ‘course market’. There are stalls with information about all activities and services of WIJ Heemstede. Course instructors are available to answer all questions. There are courses for youth, adults and especially for seniors. There is also a small exhibition with work by students from previous years. There are short workshops to get a taste of what a course contains. The brochure of the new season will also be presented on this day. More information can be found at You are welcome between 2 pm and 5 pm in De Luifel at Herenweg 96.


Stumbling stones

Stumbling stones, originally ‘Stolpersteine’, are an initiative of the German artist Gunter Demnig. They are cube-shaped concrete stones with a brass top plate, with the text engraved on them. The stones are placed on the sidewalk in front of the houses from which the Jews were expelled and murdered. There are now more than 70,000 stumbling blocks in Europe.

Also in Heemstede, 2 stumbling stones have been placed in memory of Mrs Johanne Hedwig van Straaten and her sister Marie Mathilde van Straaten. Both died in German concentration camps. The granddaughter of Mrs Johanna van Straaten has taken the initiative for this. Her grandmother had a bookshop at number 91 Binnenweg from 1937 until the first years of the Second World War. That’s where the stumbling stones are placed.


Summer Heroes

Summer Heroes

What makes one a hero? What superpowers does one require? Does a hero live in your street or are you one yourself? Together we go on a hero hunt during a summer class. We are all going to do super cool and heroic things like drawing cartoons, making power hats, cooking food, and eating together. Sign up quickly!

When: July 22, 23, 29, 30, 2021

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

With: Children from group 5 to 8

Where: Luifel, Herenweg 96, Heemstede

Costs: € 5.00 including lunch

Daffodils in the Groenendaal woods       

                                                                                                                                                                                 How do the daffodils get into the Groenendaal woods?

Daffodils are flower bulbs and they are put in the ground. So they don’t just grow in the woods. In 1953, a Flora was held on the Vrijheidsdreef. That is an exhibition of plants and flowers. A lot of flowers and bulbs are then exhibited to show what is being grown. At that time, flower bulbs may also have been planted in the woods. Anyhow, it looks very attractive in the spring.

Walk into the woods and then go to the woods where the dogs are not allowed to come, then you will see many daffodils. A flock of sheep can be seen at the end as well.


It is that time of the year again. On the night of Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, the clock will be put forward an hour forward. That means one hour less sleep. But also that it will be light for an hour longer in the evening.

Because it is light for an hour longer, the cabinet has decided to start the curfew an hour later. That’s from March 31. The curfew will then start at 10 p.m.

Earth Hour March 27

Heemstede will turn off the light in solidarity, would you do the same?

On Saturday 27 March from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm Heemstede will turn off the lights in the town hall and the Molen and request all inhabitants of  Heemstede to participate.

With this worldwide action of  Earth Hour, in which 180 countries and millions of people participate, attention will be drawn to our fragile nature on Earth.

This year there is a special and live stream version of Earth Hour. During this livestream, ambassadors Humberto Tan, Armin van Buuren and André Kuipers together with other well-known Dutch people will give nature a voice.

During the  Earth Hour LIVE, full of music, inspiring stories from special guests, discussing  dilemmas and entertainment. Such as a mini-show by comedian Guido Weijers, a live performance by Danny Vera and FRIDAY, a lesson on climate by Amara Onwuka and much more. The live stream can be followed from 20:15 via

Press release Municipality of Heemstede



Although I have no idea what kind of  people visit this website and read our articles, and therefore do not know who I am reaching while writing this article, I have something to say that comes straight from my heart. This website is a part of  “The Platform for Integration’‘, intended for new residents of Heemstede. And of course, there are a bunch of newcomers in Heemstede, from various corners of the world. I am using the “world” on purpose, because I want to address more people, than just some Amsterdammers who move from their city to the beautiful Heemstede.

Platform for integration, integration means that one becomes a part of the society, but that has to come from both sides. We often say that “the other should integrate more”. But we forget that the other person, who moves to our country, should also be given the chance to do so. In terms of contributing to better integration of newcomers, our part as Dutch / residents of Heemstede, is essential in our municipality.

I was confronted with this again recently. I happened to be present at a meeting of “a neighbor” and a newcomer. The neighbour came by to say thanks for something tasty she had received from the newcomer. She was asked, If she could come in for a moment by the new Heemsteder “Of course”, she replied. When that Dutch neighbor and I were having a conversation about her new neighbours, she told me that people in the neighborhood thought that the new neighbours did not want to connect with others, since their curtains were always shut. I explained it had to do with their culture and religion. The neighbor reacted surprised, relieved, and happy. “Ooohhh, that was the reason. So I could have just rang their bell?” She was completely amazed when the new neighbours turned out to be very welcoming and they could also communicate very wel in Dutchl.

A message to everyone: Get in touch with newcomers (immigrants/refugees). Just start by saying hello and having a chat. And if there is something that “bothers” you, talk about it. Don’t “lecture” others, but just explain if there is any cultural clash or difference. It is possible that the other person doesn’t even know that he / she is doing something “wrong”, that might bother you. Remember that with regard to the initiative to contact, it can more easily come from you, as a Dutch person. It really doesn’t have to be a weekly coffee invitation right away, but just show some interest in the other person who is trying to find his or her way in our country.  I frequently get asked the following questions by the new residents : “How can I talk to Dutch people? With whom? Where? When?” .Every conversation, no matter how small, helps the other one step further. For real! And, believe me, usually people speak better Dutch than you assume. But people are often afraid to make mistakes. “Help them” sounds so dramatic, but let’s call it “pay a part” in their integration


Volunteering in the times of this pandemic

Volunteering in the times of this pandemic: I for you and you for me!

As a newcomer in Heemstede you will receive help from all sides to feel at home here: learning the language, learning how everything is organized here, learning how to find a job and so on.

But maybe you would like to do something for others yourself? After all, almost everyone likes to be able to do something for someone else. It is also a nice way to get to know new people and improve your Dutch.And especially nowadays it is also a way to combat loneliness.

Is there anything you like and that you could help others with?

  • For example, do you enjoy gardening, do you not have a garden yourself and would you like to help someone take care of their garden?
  • Do you enjoy running errands for someone?
  • Do you enjoy walking the dog for someone?
  • Do you enjoy taking someone for a walk?
  • Are you handy and do you enjoy doing small chores around the house?

Then take a look at the website https: //

There you will find all kinds of questions for help. And you can also post to offer any help you could give.

Unfortunately this website is only written in Dutch. Maybe you can find someone to help you read? Or send an email to

Reinforce the Platform

At the end of July, I posted a message on this website in which I invited everyone to become a member of the Platform. In short: Welcome to Heemstede, a Platform for integration. In the platform, we discuss how we can help our new permit holders who live in Heemstede in all kinds of fields so that they can find their way more easily within Heemstede and the surrounding area. If you haven’t read or heard of this invitation, take a look back at the website for the article from the end of July. Within the platform, we also discussed how we can do that even better. It would probably help if one person from each group (country of origin, same language, etc.), who has been in the Netherlands / Heemstede for some time, fulfills a position as a key person. Usually, that person speaks the Dutch language a little better than somebody who came here just a few months ago.

We would be great if those key persons would sign up for the Platform. We think that the integration process can then run even more smoothly and that people will feel more at home. If you have other / better ideas there, we hope that you will come and join us. It is now – in the corona time – even more important. The corona measures will probably be further tightened in November and people will have to stay at home even more than now. We think that could be demotivating or depressing for people who do not quite feel at home yet(in the Netherlands). We hope to be able to do something for them through this platform.

Again, sign up for the Platform if you want to do something for Heemstede and the integration of permit holders. This can be done by clicking on the “About the Platform/contact” on the website. You can also sign up for the newsletter there.