Increase in poverty at the expense of sports and culture for children

The energy crisis and high inflation are causing increasing financial problems and headaches for a growing number of households, various authorities have been warning for a long time. The Sport & Culture Youth Foundation is also sounding the alarm. “The increase in poverty is at the expense of sports and culture for children.

In August last year, everyday life was 13.6 percent more expensive compared to August 2021. The Sports & Culture Youth Foundation, which ensures that children and young people from families with little money can still participate, fears that parents will have to cut back on sports clubs. music, dance and culture for children and young people.

Child victims

According to the youth fund, on average two to three children per class currently unable to participate in an activity or sport, such as football, street dance, judo or music lessons. This number is expected to increase in the near future.

Tristan de Bruin, Youth & Family Coach Wijkteam Vreewijk in Rotterdam: ‘We have parents we know who regularly come back to us with applications, but we now see a new target group who have never had to deal with financial problems before. I’m afraid these parents don’t quite know how to find their way to us yet. This means that the children from the neighborhood will soon be able to play sports, dance or make music in fewer numbers. Membership of the sports and culture club is an expense that fewer and fewer can afford in these expensive times.’

Club membership very important

Participation is very important, emphasizes Monique Maks, director of the youth fund: “In a club you make friends, you acquire essential skills, children learn to take each other into account, they gain self-confidence and they forget their worries.” And above all, they have fun with other children. That’s why club membership is so important.’ The foundation recently launched the ‘Choose a Club’ campaign, where donors have the option of paying a membership or contribution to families who cannot do this themselves.

Rising demand for help is ringing alarm bells

The foundation is not the only organization that sees an increasing need for assistance. For example, the Leergeld fund, where parents can apply for money for a computer or transport to school, told the TV program Nieuwsuur that they received more than 200,000 requests for help in the first half of this year. This is a quarter more than in the comparable period in 2019, for corona. In total, they expect to be able to help almost 150,000 children this year.

They are also worried at the national umbrella organization Voedelsbanken Nederland. The organization has previously reported that an increasing number of people are knocking on the door of the food bank. And that emergency message went out again this week. ‘We foresee big problems for next year,’ says Leo Wijnbelt, chairman of Food Banks Holland, to the radio program Spraakmakers.

Increasing number of households that are financially stuck

Several organizations have already sounded the alarm. The Norwegian Institute for Budget Information (Nibud) warned this summer, based on new calculations, that an increasing number of households will be financially stuck due to increased costs. ‘Not only low incomes, but also households with an income above the average fall into the red’ according to the organisation. ‘It is important for the municipalities to remove the barriers to assistance.’ The Fatigfondsfonden conducted research among hundreds of local aid organizations. The results showed that around two-thirds of organizations are experiencing an increase in the number of requests for help.

Practical examples: fighting poverty

In various places, the municipalities jump into initiatives to fight poverty. For example, low-income residents in Amsterdam municipality can buy an energy-efficient refrigerator or washing machine at a significant discount, Nieuwegein provides free menstrual products to minimum-income workers, and Weert municipality gave away summer packages to low-income people. families.

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