Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 12:31
Impoverished Dutch kids on the rise
In the last year, the number of requests for help for children growing up in poverty in the Netherlands has risen considerably. Stichting Leergeld in Amersfoort counted 870 different applications last year, the Volkskrant reports, which is a steep rise from 399 in 2012. Other municipalities also received a doubling of applications. The applications come mainly from "new poor". the paper writes, such as freelancers and dismissed job-seekers. At this moment, around 384 thousand children are growing up in the Netherlands under the subsistence level, this is around 100 thousand more than five years ago. A third of these children are unable to join activities in or outside school due to lack of money. Parents receive money from individual organizations, which usually goes towards a sports club, music lessons, a school trip or a bicycle. If they don't do this, then children are at risk of social isolation because they can't relate to other kids who do have these items or activities. Many schools are also going further afield for school trips, like China or New York, which costs a pretty penny. Not all locally organized foundations can bear the rise in applications. In Rotterdam and Amersfoort last year, funding was stopped because the money was finished. Many organizations do receive support from the municipality. Last year, 20 million became available for poverty counter-action, thanks to state secretary for Social Affairs Jetta Klijnsma (PvdA), the paper writes. (Novum).