Councilor Gea Hofstede (Rheden): “Use all means to get children involved”

To the Youth Fund Sport & Culture Gelderland page

Gelderland | January 20, 2022

Municipalities

In Rheden, children who want to play sports or culture can use Gelrepas if there is not enough money at home. Well organized, and Ungdomsfonden Idræt & Kultur is also active in the municipality. Councilor for Poverty Policy Gea Hofstede: “We are very happy with the Youth Foundation as a safety net. There will always be cases where children do not qualify for a Gelre passport or where the passport is not sufficient. While all children should be able to play football, dance or paint. ”

Gea Hofstede, councilor in Rheden municipalityFor Gea Hofstede, it is essential that children can participate. “That is why we chose a solid child package in Rheden, partly financed with extra money from the government for child poverty.” Children can use the clothing card, support from Stichting Leergeld and Gelrepas. The latter have been set up together with various municipalities. “We want as much of the money as possible to actually be used for the children. Then it is smart to share the organizational costs with several parties. ”

Let your worries lie

The situation of families in poverty is a matter for the councilor. “If you as a parent have money worries, your head is full and this has consequences for the situation at home. Then it’s nice for kids if they can put the worries behind them and do something fun. Children develop better when they are socially active, they learn better and are introduced to new things. Children must be able to get a good start in life, and it must not depend on their parents’ wallets! ”

Much to gain in the culture

Hofstede would therefore also like to be an advocate for cultural activities. “Culture is not the first thing people think about, they think they are not entitled to it. Cultural activities are often also more expensive, and sometimes a supplement can be made from the Youth Foundation. This is good, because in that way we create a wide range where everyone can develop their talent. ” And culture can also contribute in another way, the councilor explains enthusiastically. Last summer, Cultuurbedrijf RIQQ made a beautiful show for and of young people about poverty in a family. It was impressive and has been played at various schools. It’s not like applications suddenly start raining after that, but it starts the conversation. For example, the young people turn to the youth coaches with questions about their finances. ”

keep naming

And that conversation is still necessary. “We have 2,700 Gelrepas passport holders, but we have not yet reached everyone who needs it. Many people who do not receive unemployment benefits, but who live on 150% of the social minimum, do not know at all that they can apply for a Gelrepas for the children. We invest a lot of time and energy in publishing the schemes and our partners help with this. The facilitators are important in this respect, they are the ones who can make parents aware that there is also the Youth Foundation in addition to Gelrepas. For example, swimming lessons regularly require a supplement from the Youth Foundation, and every child must still be able to get their swimming diploma! ”

Really participate

Hofstede and the team around poverty policy are constantly responding to new developments. “In schools, and in the world of sports and culture, we look at what is changing. Our partners, such as the Youth Foundation, also participate in the poverty consultation to provide input. For example, it seems that children in secondary education can not do without a smartphone, everything happens on it. So first-year students can now get a smartphone through the Stichting Leergeld. We also follow developments in the field of sports. Padel is a new sport that is becoming increasingly popular, so we try to make it as easy as possible for providers to participate in Gelrepas. The most important thing is that you do not waste any resources on giving children the opportunity to participate in social life. Therefore, I recommend that any municipality that has its own scheme also consults with the Youth Fund. Every child who has been helped is a different person for whom we can make a difference! ”

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