Press release

Published: February 4 2022Last change: February 4 2020

At primary school de Grote Beer in Moerwijk a coffin arrived this morning full of books, the lesson box ‘Possible – break the circle of poverty’. This lesson box helps to make poverty open to discussion in an accessible and accessible way. The lesson box was presented to the teachers of primary school De Grote Beer by Alderman Arjen Kapteijns (Social Affairs and Work). They were the first to start the project in The Hague.

The library lends the lesson box to primary schools on request and is filled with various books and assignments for a total of eight lessons. The project allows students to experience what it means to live in poverty. Using various children’s books, the teacher takes the class along various forms of poverty. The project focuses on the book ‘Address unknown’ by Susin Nielsen. The students investigate and they empathize with the characters from the books. They are about children growing up in difficult circumstances. The characters face challenges early in their lives due to lack of money. Besides reading books and working on assignments, the children visit the food bank, a second-hand shop or a giveaway shop..

I think it is important that we discuss poverty with children. Kids can’t help being in this situation. Poverty is often not discussed at home or in the classroom. That is not surprising at all, because it is a complicated subject and many people are ashamed when they have little to spend. We hope to break the circle by making the teaching box available, says Alderman Kapteijns.The Hague Poverty SchemeThere are such 81 in the Netherlands.000 children in poverty. In The Hague, in 2020 almost 74.000 raise children in a low-income family. Alderman Kapteijns wants children not to feel excluded or even inferior because they have less to spend.

They should never be the victims of the financial situation of their parents. Almost 1 in 5 children in The Hague grows up in a family with a low income. No child should have to worry about whether there is money for food, clothing or school supplies.The Municipality of The Hague has a generous package of poverty relief schemes for children. Together with the city, we allow children to participate in (social) activities and prevent social exclusion. For example, the Ooievaarspas has a special Children’s Participation program so that children with an Ooievaarspas can become a member of a sports and/or cultural association for free. With the Hague child package, benefits in kind are available for children from minimum income households so that they can participate in school or in club life. Examples are the materials for sports and culture, the school supplies pass, the winter clothing pass, squla home subscription, digital learning materials such as a laptop and a bicycle. Together with the Stichting Leergeld, the municipality ensures that as many children as possible who need this can make use of these facilities. †


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