Ter Apel

Friends hugging Ter Apel
Welcome to KLABU in the central reception centre for asylum seekers in Ter Apel. The clubhouse is helping to welcome unaccompanied minors to the Netherlands through our common passion and love for sports.
Ter Apel is located in the northeast of the Netherlands. The village has 9,000 residents and hosts 2,000 newly arrived asylum seekers.
A colourful clubhouse needs a colourful sports court

The clubhouse is the only available social space for unaccompanied minors in Ter Apel. It is always filled with energy, life and spirit.

The images of the overcrowded central reception centre for asylum seekers in the Netherlands did not escape anyone's attention in the summer of 2022. Among the large crowds, a small but extremely vulnerable group of refugees caught our attention: the unaccompanied minors - underage asylum seekers who arrive in the Netherlands without any relatives.
There are few positive distractions for these young people during their stay in Ter Apel as they are dealing with extensive trauma and stress. Ter Apel has a sports hall and sports fields, but there is a lack of material and volunteers to organise activities. In close collaboration with the Central Agency for the reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), we wanted to ensure that young people in Ter Apel get moving and take the first steps towards a better future.
  • KLABU Clubhouses
    Designing the clubhouse with the Ter Apel community and muralists from VAAF
  • KLABU Clubhouses
    Turning the container into a clubhouse with VAAF and the local community
  • Ter Apel
    The Ter Apel clubhouse offers a place for daily sports activities and a social space to relax

In addition to the sports library, music and television that are always available at the clubhouse, the project offers a diverse activity schedule.

The clubhouse is located next to a street football court. The vibrant colours and enticing patterns, created by the unaccompanied minors themselves and the muralists duo VAAF, serve as a magnet for positive energy around the clubhouse. The welcoming social space invites young people to come socialise, borrow sports equipment, play games and watch TV.
Whenever our trainers arrive, dozens of children are quick to arrive, hoping to take part in a new coaching session to improve their skills, laugh with their friends and learn from Onyekachi, Tim or Nagi.


For three days a week, our sports library and clubhouse is open to the unaccompanied minors in Ter Apel. Here, they can borrow sports equipment, play and hang out together.


14 June ’24

12:00 - 16:00

Weekly Open Clubhouse

The unaccompanied minors are invited to come to the clubhouse, enjoy a game of football or any other sports they want to play, listen to some music and hang out.


17 June ’24

15:00 - 16:00

Weekly Social Workouts by Tim

To kick the week off, come join the fun training sessions with Tim. We play dodgeball, basketball, and football.


19 June ’24

12:00 - 16:00

Weekly Open Clubhouse

The unaccompanied minors are invited to come to the clubhouse, enjoy a game of football or any other sports they want to play, listen to some music and hang out.


20 June ’24

12:00 - 16:00

Weekly Open Clubhouse

The unaccompanied minors are invited to come to the clubhouse, enjoy a game of football or any other sports they want to play, listen to some music and hang out.

  • table tennis
    Ruliana playing table tennis at the clubhouse
  • ter apel
  • KLABU Ter Apel
    KLABU team member Rie with the Ter Apel Spirit community
  • UAM
    KLABU members enjoying the shade after an intense football match

Impact so far

In the east of the Netherlands, the Ter Apel Spirit unites all unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the country.
  • Since the start of our project, over 2,000 unaccompanied minors have joined the activities and enjoyed the clubhouse facility.
  • The clubhouse is the only open social space in the unaccompanied minors section where the youngsters can come and socialise outside of their dorms. This combats isolation, loneliness and offers a fruitful place for new friendships to blossom.
  • By painting their clubhouse and the football court in front of it, the youths have brought loads of colour to the area and also ensured a sense of ownership and belonging for them, crucial for a feeling of inclusion in Ter Apel.
  • From the start, refugees have been involved in managing the project. At first, a team of adult residents of the reception centre ran it, followed by Samra, from Pakistan and today, Onyekachi, from Nigeria, who organises weekly football trainings for the youth.
  • In Samra, many young girls in Ter Apel saw an example, alongside whom they could also play, learn and take part in the fun. For some, it was the first time they played basketball or tried roller blading!
  • "Kachi" is also a natural role-model for the youths, on the pitch of course but also as someone who is also going through the Dutch asylum process, always with a smile, courage and determination.
  • Since January 2024, three days per week, the Dutch organisation MV Moves provides sports trainings and activities to the youth. Other trainings are provided on an occasional basis by organisations ApenkooiGym and Basic-Fit.
  • Finally, the Ter Apel Spirit is the gateway into Dutch society for many children. Thanks to project partner, the UEFA Foundation, some were able to go to the Women's Champions League final in Eindhoven. Others also got the chance to play in a football tournament in the stadium of FC Emmen, which was a huge source of excitement and pride.
Discover more about the Ter Apel Spirit, its members and impact through the stories below.


Ter Apel Spirit is supported by these great organisations and individuals.


By wearing KLABU sportswear, you support refugees in Ter Apel and around the world.

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