On August 15, 28 children from Amsterdam and their tutors from Combiwel arrive in Alphen aan den Rijn for a week full of surprises and compliments. The idea is to give children aged 11-15 who have it less easily in one or more areas, an unforgettable week in their own country.
Linda Ruiter from the Combiwel Foundation and ultimately responsible for the guidance of the young people says: “The idea behind the Diamond Week is to approach the children as the growth fantastic that they are. And to give them the opportunity to really feel like that: valuable. We figuratively wanting to polish their inner diamond so that the children shine a little more, in a lasting way that supports them when they are back home.
“We do this by offering them experiences that they would not otherwise experience and in which they can discover their own qualities. This year – just like in 2017 – we are working together with Lionsclub Rhijnhart to make Diamond Week possible again.”
Carina Canoy from Lions Rhijnhart adds: “Recognizing that the most important food for growing children is loving, personal attention, we want to take the children into an adventurous setting during Diamond Week. They are given a royal welcome and we give them positive and personally During the week, the group will have fun together, where respect, understanding and cooperation for and with each other will be central, and perhaps new talents in the children will be discovered.”
Children’s hidden qualities and talents are mentioned. The guides, including the lions who walk the road, write the observations on a note, preferably in the form of a compliment. Carina Canoy: “During the week, the children collect these in their ‘diamond bag’. The children are also encouraged to compliment each other. After a week full of experiences and meetings, they take the bags home full of compliments and qualities. They also get the first compliment and a diamond on Monday 15 August by the mayor and child mayor in the town hall.”
Program Diamond Week 15-19 August 2022
Monday 15 August is the arrival at Archeon, where the children will stay for the whole week; then reception of the (child) mayor of Alphen in the town hall; visit to the IVN and the kindergarten; Tuesday a ‘water day’ in Nieuwkoop with cycling, rowing and sailing; Wednesday to the Climbing Park and Minigolf; Thursday Archeon with all sorts of activities there; barbecue and colorful evening. Surf Friday morning at Wet ‘n Wild and then round off the week at Archeon and head to Amsterdam by bus.
History of Diamond Week
The Diamond Week started with Lions Nieuwkoop in 2011. After that, the Diamond Week was alternately organized by the Lions Clubs Nieuwkoop, Woerden, Bodegraven and Alphen aan den Rijn. In 2017, the Lions Club Rhijnhart from Alphen a/d Rijn organized the Diamond Week for the first time. The tenth edition of the Diamond Week will be in 2022 (there was no camp in 2020 due to corona)
The Combiwel Foundation is the organization ultimately responsible for the Week. Combiwel’s youth workers are responsible for supervising young people during the day, the program in the evening and supervision at night. Lionsclub Rhijnhart is responsible for the program, venue and food. Lions provide the varied program of activities, leading the activity from start to finish. In addition, the Lions organize a bus to transport the children and their bicycles from Amsterdam to Alphen and vice versa.
Combiwel’s youth work has been working with these young people and their families for years, and they are responsible for the selection of participants for the holiday week. Combiwel is a social enterprise with a wide range of services for residents of Amsterdam from different socio-economic backgrounds. From countless places, people are supported at neighborhood level in building and maintaining networks so that they can and will participate actively in society. Combiwel works together with partners in education, care, housing and the public sector.