Sevdi talks about what good support means to her

Sevdi, 51, from the vicinity of Momchilgrad, Bulgaria

Works as production staff in a nursery for hydrangeas and tulips
via abflexkracht

Sevdi wanted to stand on her own two feet, to build a life and future for herself. To that, she needed paid work – and there wasn't any in Bulgaria. Someone she knew mentioned working in the Netherlands. She decided to take the leap and move to the Netherlands, together with her sister.

“And now I've been here 18 years,” the Bulgarian says with a shy smile. “The only thing I knew about the Netherlands was that it was famous for cows and tulips. That's it, really.” Today, Sevdi is quite familiar with the Netherlands and has even completed a civic integration course. “Just to help me learn more about the country and improve my Dutch language skills.”

At the moment, Sevdi is working – via abflexkracht –at a genuine family-owned business in Oude Wetering. This business has been growing hydrangeas and tulips in a modern, ecologically-sound way for decades. “I love the family atmosphere within the company, everyone is very friendly with one another. No matter where they're from. We have Dutch, Polish and Bulgarian people working here. Sometimes we teach each other a word or two in our native languages. It makes you feel good when someone does their best to learn a bit of your language.”


Right now, there's plenty of work to be done with the tulip crop. There are different kinds of tasks involved, everything from putting the bulbs in trays to harvesting, processing and packaging them. “Today, I was scheduled to work on the trays. This is when the tulip bulbs are fixed upright in special trays, which are then filled with water so the bulbs can develop roots.”

In her time in the Netherlands, Sevdi has gained a great deal of experience in the agricultural and horticultural sector. “I have worked on a carnation farm and at the auction in Poeldijk. Someone I know, Ali, told me about working via abflexkracht. That's how these things work,” Svedi says with a grin. “I'm part of a large network of Bulgarians living in and around The Hague; we all help each other. Every day, we carpool to work – from The Hague to Oude Wetering – with a group of Bulgarians. We use a van provided by abflexkracht so we could get from home to work and back.”

“Before I started working for abflexkracht, I did a little research to see if it was a trustworthy organisation. That's because some agencies here in the Netherlands don't follow the rules or honour their agreements. I know this from personal experience, unfortunately, which is why I’m cautious.” Svedi quickly came to the conclusion that abflexkracht is a reliable company to work for. She has been employed by abflexkracht for over six months now and is quite satisfied. “Everything is so well-organised, from the transportation to the weekly wages. And if I have questions, I can talk to Serdal, my contact at abflexkracht, who speaks my native language. To me, that good support is what makes the difference – it's priceless