Press release

Published: 17 October 2022Last change: 17 October 2022

Living in The Hague at least 20. children growing up in poverty. During World Poverty Day on October, the Municipality of The Hague, SchuldenlabNL, Schuldenlab97, Leergeld Den Haag and ROSE stories attention to this. Partly for these children, the book ‘The shoe of ten million’ was written, inspired by conversations with families in The Hague. Carola Schouten, Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions, and Mariëlle Vavier, alderman for Poverty, Inclusion and Public Health of the municipality of The Hague, read from the book for the children of group 4 at De la Reyschool. Afterwards, all children received a book.

The cooperation collective wants to start the conversation with this book around the current theme of poverty within primary schools, families and society. To this end, every primary school in The Hague will receive ten copies of the book as a gift.

The figures
Living in the Netherlands 900. people below the poverty line (CBS, 900). Behind these numbers are personal stories, feelings and experiences. Growing up in poverty has a major effect on children. They often develop physical and psychological complaints and are less able to participate in society because there is often no money for sports or going out.

Carola Schouten, Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions :

“If there are continuous money worries it has a major impact on the whole family. And so also on children. They feel left out, stressed or ashamed of the situation at home. Feelings that children take to school every day, but which are not talked about. This book gives schools a handle on how to talk about it in the classroom. This is very important, especially at a time when more families are dealing with financial problems and it is constantly being talked about on TV and social media.”Imaging counts
Poverty is still a taboo. Feeding the social debate is therefore essential. Mariëlle Vavier, alderman for Poverty, Inclusion and Public Health of the municipality of The Hague:

“ There are still too many children in the Netherlands who grow up in poverty. In the classroom, on the schoolyard and also in many other situations, they regularly experience a feeling of being behind. Poverty is still associated with taboo and shame, and poverty creates inequality of opportunity. It hinders children in their development. At school and at play and sports. With this book we want to start the conversation.”

Ten renowned authors took up the pen for The Shoe of Ten Million. Based on conversations with families in The Hague, authors, including Anna Woltz, Annet Schaap and Gideon Samson, made their own interpretation of poverty.

Photos: Mladen Pikulic


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