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 re-energize

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. 

Engage 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

Wiecza, fighting for a better future for Venezuela
Learn more about Wiecza, a Venezuelan lawyer and human rights defender.
Shelter City Eindhoven
Numan, fighting for LGBTIQ+ rights in Malaysia
Learn more about Numan and his work to support the LGBTIQ+ community in Malaysia.
Shelter City Amsterdam
Manjula Pradeep, the inspiring activist behind Shelter City
Manjula Pradeep is an Indian human rights defenders and the inspiration behind Shelter City.
Shelter City Europe
Meet Caroline Rucah, Kenyan LGBTIQ+ rights defender
Watch a short documentary and learn more about Caroline Rucah, LGBTIQ+ rights defenders from Kenya.
Shelter City Utrecht
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
Louisa and Asha: defending human rights in Nigeria and India during the COVID-19 pandemic
Louisa and Asha are two human rights defenders and former Shelter City guests who shared with us how their work has changed during the pandemic.
Shelter City Rotterdam
Mohammed Azaiza shares his experience of being stuck in Gaza while dreaming of Amsterdam
Mohammed Azaiza is a human rights defender from Gaza who was unable to relocate to Shelter City.
Shelter City Amsterdam
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

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