More kids benefit from ABN AMRO Foundation

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Last year, nearly 20,000 children enjoyed an unforgettable day through the charitable work of ABN AMRO Foundation – over 4,000 more than in 2018. To make this happen, the Foundation ran over 275 activities in 2019.

For these children, the world often is no bigger than their own neighbourhoods. They typically grow up in challenging home situations and lack the outside stimulus to find out what they like and what they’re good at – key to their development and the future of us all. Which is exactly why ABN AMRO Foundation runs activities to help expand their world and experience.

Making a difference from the heart

Volunteering by our people is an indispensable part of this ABN AMRO Foundation drive: some 6,500 employees took these kids to a museum, attended a sports clinic together or went on some other sort of adventure. Our people recognise themselves in the kids they’re helping, sometimes because they had a tough childhood themselves, or they may be highly motivated precisely because they were given plenty of opportunities and want the same for these children.

Whatever their motivations, a day like this has an impact. As one teacher observed: “Talking together about what you see and discover makes us want to know more, to dare ask questions. I notice that our kids do this more after going on an activity.”

School as a platform for equal opportunities

Teachers are beating a path to the Foundation and we currently work closely together with 70 primary schools. These have been carefully selected by Jeugdeducatiefonds (Youth Education Fund), to which they can turn for financial support. At these schools over half of the children grow up disadvantaged, and the schools are experts on what these children need – which is why the Foundation consults them every step of the way. For these children, school is a safe haven in which they find structure, peace and quiet.

Covid-19 crisis sharpens inequality of opportunity

Home education took an axe to this very bedrock for two months. Many children had no laptops in the home, little room and parents who sometimes failed to provide adequate structure and support. All this has combined to widen the gap between them and their peers. This enforced period of home schooling has underlined the importance of the teaching profession, particularly at schools such as these, and this will be one of the subjects in the webinar on unequal opportunities to be held by the Foundation and Jeugdeducatiefonds on 23 September.

Tentative restart after the summer break

Sadly, the Foundation has had to cancel all activities up to the summer break. Fortunately, volunteers and children have been keeping in touch online. By the end of June, the Foundation hopes to reach out to employees to sign up for activities in September that will get the children back to exploring, at Archeon or Naturalis, for instance. High fives may be out now, but 1.5 metres still allows for asking questions and learning from one another.

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