Managing your personal finance is something you need to learn. The financial decisions young people have to make, ranging from getting health insurance to paying their mobile phone bill, can be confusing and lead to all kinds of problems.
Our partner Humanitas, the prestigious Dutch social services and community building organisation, recently shared with UW NL its progress report for the 3rd quarter (May 2019-January 2020) of Get a Grip. The project supports and coaches vulnerable young people in the 16 to 25 age group who face financial difficulties or are in debt. Volunteers help selected people strengthen their financial skills and knowledge and teach them to organise their finances with a view to becoming financially self-reliant.
To achieve the best possible results, UW NL currently works with Humanitas in three specific regions in the Netherlands: centrally situated Utrecht, nearby Rivierenland (river district) and Kop van Noord-Holland (an area north of Amsterdam). The initiatives in Utrecht and Rivierenland also receive funding from local government.
At the end of the 3rd quarter, all milestones outlined in the Get a Grip project proposal have been surpassed. Nineteen participants, 14 more than expected, were identified and counselled. Three participants moved away before ending the programme, but they were confident they could manage their finances on the own.
Matching the participants with the volunteers who were recruited and trained – again, their number of 29 vastly exceeded expectations – is a work in progress. The same can be said for the range of collaborations. Apart from UW NL and several local councils, Humanitas works with an ROC vocational school, various social platforms and media personalities like budget coach Eef van Opdorp. We recently added a new partnership, with Total, the energy company, which will enable the project to grow in both scope and size.
Awareness raising initiatives for Get a Grip have been pursued with great enthusiasm. Instagram campaigns and a workshop at Utrecht University are just two examples of ways we are putting this financial literacy project on the map. It is, after all, a nationwide initiative that will be rolled out in other parts of the Netherlands.