Abdelhamid fights inequality of opportunity in his neighborhood on all fronts

Amsterdam Abdelhamid Idrissi (33) has been fighting inequality in opportunities in Amsterdam Nieuw-West for more than ten years. With great success. The prizes are now pouring in, and he is a welcome guest and speaker at all kinds of conferences. On his way back from such a conference, he spoke to NH Nieuws about his motives and method. Next Wednesday, Abdelhamid is a guest in the new episode of NH Warriors.

Abdelhamid Idrissi – Photo: Melle Bos

“We are winning now because the effect we are making is really visible,” said an enthusiastic Idrissi at the other end of the phone line. “The Innovation Challenge, the Embrace Award, the Hélène de Montigny Award, Etc. But we win all those prizes because we have taken the time from our ‘Study Halls’ fund to really understand inequality. “


“The basis of inequality is real poverty, in the broadest sense of the word. Poverty in economics, poverty in vocabulary, lack of communication skills. The children who come to us have such a big disadvantage and insecurity, and in general we have started experimenting with “we have another solution to these individual problems, and we have succeeded. We now have 47 study rooms in the most vulnerable districts of Amsterdam and Zaanstad-West with 1,400 children and a further 2,000 children on the waiting list.”

“How do you say ‘no’ to someone in a nice way or how do you get an internship? That kind of advice is worth its weight in gold”

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“Over the last ten years, we have needed to understand the dynamics of the problems. What are the dreams and desires, but also the concerns of the child and the family. To understand that, one has to be in the middle of the families. Not from the side. It all starts. in gaining the trust of the family. We invest in that every day. “

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Abdelhamid during the filming of NH Fighters – Photo: Melle Bos

“I have previously been able to use the role model such as study rooms. Not necessarily for homework guidance, but more for the network and all the advice we give to the children. I come from a small family where my parents, despite not spreading, be there for me. That attention is really the most important thing. “

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“In the difficult times of my youth, I was able to lean on my parents. This allowed me to flourish, my father was the coach I needed. I try to be the same for the 1,400 children with us. I will also give all the life lessons to those I have received from my environment.For example, how do you say ‘no’ to someone in a nice way, or how do you get an internship? That kind of advice is worth its weight in gold. we give them a head start instead of a disadvantage. “

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Abdelhamid during the filming of NH Fighters – Photo: Melle Bos

“I went to architecture school because that was where the opportunities lay. It was a strategic idea. But I had a terrible hard time, I quickly felt that I was really behind in terms of vocabulary and networking. Thanks to my persistence, I reached it. I saw countless guys like me lose weight because they did not have such a coach. “

“Inequality in the neighborhood has really increased over the last ten years. I can see that there is a lot more stress at home. Therefore, I also want to invest more in the parents and the brothers and sisters. The child is central to us, it must flourish. And what does it take? The child himself, of course, but also rest with the parents and rest in the house. So we need to take a much broader approach. We start with the child, but then help the whole family. The family should no longer stress, but should excel. And then the ball can roll the other way and they can get out of poverty. ”

“We see many other initiatives around us, but they are often very bureaucratic and go no further than putting out fires”

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“In the future, we will expand our impact even more. By inspiring and advising with all sorts of other organizations and individuals. For example, we now have plans to create a new supermarket ‘Fresh’ to alleviate poverty. All children can You can find countless important products, from bread to shampoo. You can ‘buy’ it all there, because of course we give it away for free. It really acts as a daily ‘de-stresser’ for families living in poverty. “

“A family is helped quite briefly with only a training or one-time gift. My advice is to constantly think about how to make the other structurally self-sufficient. But if you really want a chance in life, you are always welcome with us.”

In the Warriors program, inspiring people from North Holland tell their story. Each and every one of them is trying to make the world a little more beautiful in their own way.

Fighters is broadcast on NH Nieuw’s TV channel and via our website. The stories can also be listened to as a podcast. Subscribe to it via your favorite podcast channel. Here you will find an overview of all Warriors.

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