In 2016 a well known Dutch non-profit organization named Het Vergeten Kind has started to collaborate with Move Forward. Move Forward coaches are teaching dance, basketball and rap in shelters and refugee camps all over the country. Due to this collaboration we have expanded our program from our project in Rotterdam-Zuid to the rest of the Netherlands in a natural way .
Summer 2015 we have launched our program in Rotterdam-Zuid, The Netherlands. Relatively speaking a part of the town with people on low incomes and known for it's high crime rate. We selected teenagers with help from local youth coaches, teachers of public schools in that area, social workers, shelters, food bank, cultural institutions.and sports coaches. Our goal was to reach those who were not able to do something fun and uplifting in the summer vacation. Everyday the group of teenagers started with a healthy lunch before starting the training sessions. Our goal was to open our program for 100 teenagers, it turned out to be 89 teenagers who did join our program. The difference with our previous program in Haiti was the fact that Dutch children do have a lot of choices and things going on on the side. In Haiti almost everyone showed up everyday because there was nothing else to do in the community in the afternoon. In Rotterdam-Zuid we had the rule that as long as they communicate in advance why they could not make it the next day they were still welcome to join the rest of the program.
August 3 - 14 our kick-off program took place in Zuiderpark, an outdoor sportscomplex based in a beautiful park. This program included:
- Dance training of a team of Hiphop dance coaches.
- Basketball training of a team of local and national coaches.
- Rap masterclasses of the famous Dutch rappers Broederliefde and Winne.
- Healthy food program.
- On the side coaching from social workers, for example a psychomotor therapist.
- Solving a local issue from the neighborhood together with the teenagers and crew.
SKVR, basketball club RZ and coach Alpha Sow of Basketball Winterleague are our partners in Rotterdam-Zuid. They started the follow up programs in september 2015.
The teenagers gave our program an average of 8.5 out of 10 , saying our program does match with what they like to do and they did appreciate the personal approach of our coaches and the way they were excepted and motivated by everyone. An extra bonus is the fact that they made new friends because of this project.