Zwolle

As the birthplace of the founder of parliamentary democracy, Zwolle has a strong commitment to democracy, which goes hand-in-hand with human rights. After a successful start in 2017, the city became a permanent part of Shelter City in 2018. Unlike other Shelter Cities in the Netherlands, Shelter City Zwolle is largely organized and run by students of Windesheim Honours College.

Our support

Rest and respite

At Shelter City Zwolle, human rights defenders are offered a safe space in a quiet and secure environment where they can focus on their well-being and care for their physical and physiological health. Defenders are able to use this time to rest and re-energize, away from any threats and security risks that come with their work. 

Tailored support and capacity-building

Our team of dedicated students and volunteers ensure every guest has a fruitful stay. During their stay, defenders can access tailored support such as language courses, medical care, and recreational activities. They can also choose to participate in a range of courses at the local university, which provides them with the opportunity to gain knowledge, form new allies, and be equipped to reinforce their cause. 

Connecting with local allies

We provide a platform for human rights defenders to share their stories and raise awareness on the human rights situation in their country with the youth and residents of Zwolle. We do this through events, lectures, and meetings, which enable defenders to obtain outside perspectives to strengthen their activism and expand their network.

Our team

Marike Scholten
Marike Scholten

Main coordinator of Shelter City Zwolle

Javiera Schmidt Astudillo
Javiera Schmidt Astudillo

Member of the supporting team

Frédérique Hoogland lo
Frédérique Hoogland lo

Member of the supporting team

Maria Stoeva
Maria Stoeva

Member of the supporting team

Valerie Knöpker
Valerie Knöpker

Member of the supporting team

Leonardo da Silva
Leonardo da Silva

Member of the supporting team

Crystal Hoelen
Crystal Hoelen

Member of the supporting team

Leona Klein
Leona Klein

Member of coordinating team

Eiko Saathoff
Eiko Saathoff

Member of coordinating team

Florence Leijen
Florence Leijen

Member of coordinating team

Our stories

Asha’s photo hangs proudly on my wall
Nikki supports human rights defenders that stay in Shelter City Rotterdam. According to Nikki, being a part of Shelter City has changed her life.
Shelter City Rotterdam
How William’s perseverance left a mark on numerous residents of Nijmegen
Yara was part of the Shelter City Nijmegen team for two years. During her time, she met inspiring human rights defenders such as William from Uganda.
Shelter City Nijmegen
Taking care of your wellbeing is essential when working in human rights
Leo Mosselman is a Tai Chi and bodywork teacher, who supports human rights defenders in Shelter City Netherlands during their training week in The Hague.
Shelter City The Hague
Shelter City guest Tino on LGBTIQ+ rights in Zambia
Tino’s Story Tino is a Zambian human rights defender that focuses on LGBTIQ+ rights as well as the human rights of LGBTIQ+ sex workers in Zambia. He is the Executive Director of the Key Populations Alliance of Zambia, and stayed in Shelter City Amsterdam in 2019. Growing up, Tino was beaten, marginalized and shamed for his […]
Shelter City Amsterdam

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