On this page you will find the information listed below. Click on the link below to go directly to that part of the page. 

What is the BAMBOO programme?

The GZA BAMBOO programme is a GGZ prevention programme for asylum seekers which is starting at virtually every COA location in the Netherlands from 1 January 2020. It consists of a training programme composed of five group meetings which each last two hours. The GZA POH-GGZ leads the meetings. During this training, residents will gain insight into their personal strengths and learn how to deploy these when experiencing psychological complaints. If more care is necessary, gaining access to this care will be explained in more detail. The BAMBOO programme is available for the following three age groups:

  • BAMBOO Adults for adults from 18 years of age;
  • BAMBOO Youth for youths between 12 and 17 years of age;
  • BAMBOO Kids for children between 6 and 11 years of age.


Many asylum seekers have had a long, difficult journey, during which they conquered many obstacles and setbacks. We believe that this is only possible if you are strong, resilient and flexible. These properties characterise BAMBOO. In the BAMBOO programme, we will focus on these properties to achieve psychological balance, personal growth and development.

What is the goal of the BAMBOO programme?

During this training, residents will learn how to strengthen their resilience by discovering and applying their strengths. The training programme aims to stimulate residents’ natural ability to recover and provides tools to deal with problems in a better way. This includes discovering strengths, increasing positive emotions, accepting negative emotions and applying forgiveness and surrender.

For whom is BAMBOO intended?

BAMBOO is intended for all residents of a COA location who would like to work on themselves in a positive way in a group setting. The BAMBOO programme is set up as broadly as possible so that residents from various countries, languages, cultures and age groups can following the training programme. The programme is being rolled out at virtually every COA location. The trainings are subdivided by location, age group and language. View the overview of all trainings here.

When should one participate in the BAMBOO programme?

BAMBOO is aimed at improving existing strengths. The training sessions of the programme focus on resilience, psychological health and positive psychology: how can the already present positive and helpful aspects be strengthened. This results in the following:

  • Personal growth and development;
  • More control over emotions;
  • More insight into strengths;
  • Increasing well-being

When should one not participate in the BAMBOO programme?

In some cases, it is not a good idea to participate in the BAMBOO programme. For example, if a resident suffers from serious psychological problems. In this case, the resident needs immediate specialist care. Is this the case? Then contact GZA at the COA location, we will make sure the resident receives the care he/she needs.

What can a participant expect from the BAMBOO training programmes?

The participant will gain insight into his/her strengths in an accessible and open way in a group of like-minded individuals. The participant also learns skills and techniques to help them deal with negative emotions and thoughts. The participant learns to experience more positivity in his/her life. If more care is needed, the path to this care is explained in more detail so that he/she receives the help they need.

How to register?

Residents can sign up via our website or ask a GZA, COA or JGZ employee to sign them up.

More information

Do you have any questions or would you like more information? The answer to your question might be listed on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Is your question not listed? Send an email to We will contact you as quickly as possible.