Our News


January 29, 2020

New Year's Concert in the Grote Kerk in Naarden

On Sunday afternoon, January 12, we enjoyed the 16th JBR New Year's Concert in the Grote Kerk in Naarden with over 200 relations. We organize the event together with the Lions Club Bussum-Godelinde. The concert was performed by the Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra and the extraordinary cello soloist Benedict Kloeckner.

Conductor Peter Santa had again put together an exquisite programme:

  • Jules Massenet - Méditation from the opera Thaïs (soloist: Peter Santa - violin)
  • Robert Schumann - Cello concerto - Allegro non troppo (3 movements)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 -Poco sostenuto vivace, Allegretto, Presto and Allegro con brio


After a long and awkward injury, Peter Santa was able to play the violin again. He enjoyed it visibly and got a big applause.


Again this year, all proceeds from the concert will benefit two charities. JBR has chosen the UAF as its own sponsorship target, because of the development of their talents. The international character of our agency requires multicultural thinking and we also encourage our employees to keep learning. Refugees come here with a lot of knowledge and experience. They deserve to have this utilized and to get the best opportunities in our country.

The Lions Club Bussum-Godelinde has chosen the VUmc Alzheimer Centre as its sponsor.

Last year, we raised 20,500 euros for the UAF and the VUmc Alzheimer Center. What will the amount be this year? We will know soon.

Mardjan Seighali

UAF director Mardjan Seighali herself fled Iran in 1990 with her two sons. During her speech, she said, "I have been the director of the oldest refugee organization in the Netherlands, UAF, since 2013. We assist refugees with work and study. I see so many people who want to make something of it, who achieve extraordinary things. They gain courage from the freedom and perspective that the Netherlands offers. But give them that chance! I have trouble with the fact that the emphasis is more and more on how refugees can be helped to work as soon as possible. Why condemn a doctor to work as a cleaner? That's a waste for that person and a waste for society. We need to do it smarter, not faster. Proceeds from the concert will help ensure that in 2020 we will continue to make that difference by providing refugee students and professionals with a future that suits them. Thank you consulting firm JBR and Lionsclub Bussum-Godelinde for the initiative and organization!"


In March she received the Comenius Prize in the same church in Naarden for 'her inspiring role in society'.

After the concert, we toasted with our relations to a successful 2020.