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 program?

The GZA BAMBOO program is a mental healthcare (GGZ) prevention program for asylum seekers. The program started the 1st of January 2020 and has been implemented at almost every COA location in the Netherlands. The BAMBOO program is a training program consisting of five group meetings of which each meeting lasts two hours. The mental health nurse (POH-GGZ) of GZA leads these meetings. During the training, you will gain insight into your personal strengths and learn how to use these when experiencing psychological complaints. If you have serious psychological problems, more specialist care is necessary. In the program we will explain the types of specialist care and how to access them. The BAMBOO program is available for the following age groups:

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


As an asylum seeker you may have had a long, difficult journey, during which you had to conquer many obstacles and setbacks. We believe that this is only possible if you are strong, resilient and flexible. These elements characterize the bamboo plant, hence the name BAMBOO. In the BAMBOO program, we will focus on these elements to achieve psychological balance, personal growth and development.

What is the goal of the BAMBOO program?

During this training, you will learn how to strengthen your resilience by discovering and applying your strengths. The training program aims to stimulate your 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 within a group setting. The BAMBOO program is set up as broadly as possible so that residents from various countries, languages, cultures and age groups can follow the training program. The program has been implemented at almost every COA location. The trainings are subdivided by location, age group and language. View the overview of all trainings here.

When should you participate in the BAMBOO program?

BAMBOO is aimed at improving existing strengths. The training sessions of the program 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 you not participate in the BAMBOO program?

In some cases, it is not a good idea to participate in the BAMBOO program. For example, if you suffer from serious psychological problems. In this case, you need immediate specialist care. Does this apply to you? Then contact your local GZA and we will make sure you receive the care you need.

What can you expect from the BAMBOO training program?

Through group meetings with individuals who face similar (psychological) challenges, you will gain insight into your strengths in an accessible and open way. You will also learn skills and techniques to help you deal with negative emotions and thoughts. You will learn how to experience more positivity in your life. If you have serious psychological problems, more specialist care is needed. In the program we will explain the types of specialist care and how to access them.

How to register?

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

More information

Do you have 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.