The Voksenfonden Sport & Kultur makes sport and culture accessible

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Lansingerland – Everything is getting more expensive. We all notice it in our wallets. Especially if you have a family, there is often not much left for sports and culture. The municipality of Lansingerland has per 1 September registered with the Adult Sport & Cultuur Foundation. The municipality believes that everyone should have access to sports and culture, including people with limited means. “Sports are very important. Now that it’s possible, I want to take swimming lessons and maybe go to the gym in the future,” says Mohammed Abu Alee.

The Adult Foundation Sports & Culture was established in 2020. The Adult Foundation wants to give as many low-income adults as possible the opportunity to participate in sports and culture. Anyone aged 18 and over can participate in activities such as swimming lessons, music lessons, fitness, football theater or dance lessons. The Adult Fund for Sports & Culture ensures that tuition and/or materials are paid for adults who live around the subsistence level. There are 42 municipalities in the Netherlands associated with Adult Fund Sport & Culture. More than a million people in the Netherlands live around the poverty line. That is more than 6% of the total population. The foundation therefore calls on all municipalities in the Netherlands to join the initiative. Adults with an income of up to 130% of the minimum wage or people in debt consolidation in Lansingerland can now apply for a contribution of a maximum of €250 for participation in sports and a maximum of €500 for participation in culture. There is 1 contribution per year for each participant.

Sport and culture essential
Mohammed has lived in the Netherlands with his family for five years. “You always think of the children first. My wife and I want them to have every opportunity. We have fought to give them a safe life. Thanks to the Sports and Culture Youth Foundation, my sons aged 10 and 7 can exercise, and we have made good use of that from the start. I am glad that adults are also being thought of. My dream has always been to learn to swim. I am now trying to see what options are available to me. Or maybe I can go to the gym, I used to do that in Syria and I miss that a lot.” Sport and culture are an essential part of a healthy and happy life. Exercise also allows adults to interact with others. “Sport creates brotherhood. In my case, it also led to an improvement in the Dutch language,” says Mohammed.

Application
“The Youth Sports & Culture Foundation and the Adult Sports & Culture Foundation are identical. An application can be submitted by an intermediary. This is a professional who in his daily work is in contact with families with little money, for example an employee from the social district team, neighborhood sports coaches, debt counselor or a social worker. They can register and submit an application. In Lansingerland you will also find a mediator in the Samendoen’s walk-in consultation hours. Instead of an intermediary only being able to apply for children, an intermediary can now apply for the whole family. However, the application must then be sent to the Voksenfonden”, explains Stefan Hagebeek, Coordinator of the Voksenfonden Sport & Culture. The participant will be informed within three weeks whether the application has been approved. If the message is positive, the participant can sign up for a sports club or cultural activity. The adult fund pays the contribution and/or material costs directly to the sports club or other provider. “I think it is well organized. That way, the money goes to the right place, and the paperwork, which is also not easy for everyone, is taken off your hands,’ says Mohammed.

Intermediaries
Intermediaries are an important link for the Voksenfonden. “If professionals come into contact with adults with little money in their work, we encourage them to register as intermediaries. In some cases, volunteers who are active within an organization can also take on the role of mediator”, says Stefan. You can easily register via the website: www.mattenfonds.nl. For questions or more information, you can send an email to: zuid-holland@mattenfonds.nl.

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