WAALWIJK – In every school class, there are on average 2 or 3 children who grow up in a family that is struggling financially. There is no money for sports or creative activities. The Youth Foundation Sport & Culture Brabant offers them financial help, but too many children are still ‘under the radar’. Therefore, together with GO Waalwijk, the foundation is looking for ambassadors and mediators in the municipality of Waalwijk. “Together we can identify more children and young people who could use a helping hand.”
“In the municipality of Waalwijk, a number of families are already being helped by the Youth Foundation Sport & Culture Brabant. But we know that the number of children who grow up in a family with little money is unfortunately significantly higher,’ says Francesco van Mierlo, head of relations at the foundation in the municipality of Waalwijk. “Especially in these times of high energy costs and inflation, even more families are expected to be in financial need. In order to reach all families who need it, it is important that we give more publicity to the Sports & Culture Youth Foundation. That is why we are looking for new mediators in the municipality of Waalwijk. People who have to deal with children and parents because of their position – for example at school – and therefore can pick up signals indicating that there is little money. Think of the remarkably often ‘forgotten’ of a packed lunch, no good winter coat or sneakers that are too small. Our goal is that every primary and secondary school should have at least one youth fund intermediary. A teacher is close to the child and the parents. That relationship of trust is important, because many people who find it difficult to cope are ashamed of it.”
Intermediaries are wanted
Together with GO Waalwijk, Van Mierlo invited employees from social organisations, education professionals, neighborhood sports coaches and other people who often work with children and young people to an information meeting. The attendance exceeded expectations, more than forty people attended the meeting. Peter Overeem, coordinator Ungdomsfonden Sport & Kultur Brabant, explained to those present how the fund works. “As an intermediary, you can really make a difference,” Overeem emphasized. “With a few simple steps, you can ensure that money worries are alleviated a little. You are an important link between the family and the Youth Foundation. By sending an application to the foundation, you ensure that a child or young person can participate in judo, music, gymnastics or theater lessons. Submitting such an application is not complicated and does not take much time. After approval, Ungdomsfonden Idræt & Kultur Brabant ensures that the contribution or course fee is transferred directly to the club or cultural institution so that the child can participate. John van den Hoven, councilor for sports and culture in the municipality of Waalwijk, emphasized how important this is. “Sports and culture make a major contribution to the development of children and young people. In the club they make friends, they gain skills, they have fun and gain confidence.”
Make an application or register as an intermediary
The Youth Foundation Sport & Culture Brabant helps children between the ages of 0 and 18 by paying the tuition or the contribution and any materials, such as sports clothes or an instrument. The Youth Foundation for Sport and Culture is a national organization to which city and provincial foundations are affiliated. Peter Overeem: “230 municipalities are connected, including the municipality of Waalwijk. There is a separate potty for children who live here. The municipality contributes annually to this. Last year, Ungdomsfonden Sport & Kultur also received several gifts for children in Waalwijk municipality, among others from Lions Club Waalwijk and Allround Makelaardij Waalwijk.”
In the municipality of Waalwijk, the neighborhood sports coaches, Kunstencentrum Waalwijk, Tavenu and Stichting De Strohalm, among others, are active as mediators. Go to www.gowaalwijk.nl/jeugdfonds-waalwijk for contact information and an explanation of how to apply for a grant. Anyone who wants to become an intermediary or ambassador in the municipality of Waalwijk can send an email to [email protected] For more information.