Relief for children in youthcare institutions and other difficult situations
by Nicole Keegstra
Don't you think children should have the opportunity to develop themselves no matter where they live? Don't you think children should live in a warm and colorful home? Don't they deserve some relief if things are not going well at home because of a divorce, death or crisis?
With this campaign I'm trying to raise money for a project for young children in difficult situations. To give them a way to develop themselves in a creative manner, to meet new friends and to give them a break from their problems by organizing workshops several times a week. They will be given the chance to create and work together with other children on projects like paintings, clay figurines, bracelets and other things which will be donated to youthcare institutions to make them a nicer place for the children who live there!
Hi, I'm Nicole Keegstra and I live in the Netherlands. I've had a difficult childhood, and my parents were not able to take care of me. So when I was 8 years old, I was taken away from them and lived for several years in a youthcare institution. I have never seen them again. Although I did have a house and people who took care of me from then on, it wasn't even close to how a child should be raised. Looking back it was the saddest chapter of my life and there was little distraction from the situation.The house reminded me most of a hospital: the rooms were scarcely furnished, not decorated at all and looked very sterile. Not a place for a child to grow up. I went to school during daytime, when I came home I, the other children and one of the youthcare employees had dinner and that was it. The rest of the time we just watched the television. We were not stimulated to get hobbies, to go out and make friends or find any form of entertainment.
It made me the person I am today, but it is not a way of life you would wish for any child.
Now I'm 24 and I feel the need to help people who are in the same situation as I once was. Working together with friends, youthcare and a local school we came up with this project to improve the lives of children who could use some help.
This campaign is a way to give workshops for free to young children so they get the opportunity to express themselves, to have fun, to help other children in situations like their own, to meet new friends and to give them a break from the harsh reality of their lives.
The money we raise with this campaign will be used to rent a working space, advertise, create a website etc.. Also, paint, pencils, cardboard, special scissors, tape, clay, aprons, rolls of paper, glue, fabrics, beads, storage boxes and other materials will have to be bought. The asked amount is to cover the one-time expenses to make it happen, including the first few months of rent until the project can sustain itself.
To make this happen there will be an option to donate and buy works on our website, and an auction will be organized in the work space where parents and enthusiasts can bid on the items the group made too!
Only a part of the works the group create will be auctioned, the rest will be donated to youthcare institutions!
These auctions will be held once a month and will be accompanied by a meeting for parents/legal guardians/youthcare representatives to remain up to date and help organize. News and stories can be exchanged and ideas can be shared. Projects and events will be organized during these meetings.
Our first project will take place in Amsterdam, and depending on the success of this campaign and the enthusiasm we receive we will start organizing a similar project in other cities too! There have been enthusiastic reactions from organisations spread across the Netherlands, and in London a similar project has been created already. If we will raise enough money for the first one, a second project is not that far away.
At the moment we have enough enthusiasm to organize 3 workshops every week for 20-30 children each.
Parents and volunteers can contribute to the project by collecting materials and money for the workshops, or by spending a few hours every week to help and supervise during the workshop. If you don't have any money to spare, please share the link to this page with the world! There are many children everywhere who could benefit greatly from this project!
Any contribution will be greatly appreciated, even a small amount can make a difference. How more money we raise how more children we can help!