Think Tank Inspires ‘Samen Kracht’ by Nadia and Mohammed
Participants in the Think Tank on Thursday, April 22, at 8.30 pm under the leadership of moderator Jake Houbiers digitally joined the couple Mohammed and Nadia Aktaou of ‘Buurthuis Samen Kracht’ at Haarlemmerweg 645 B. She works here daily, as does Mohammed works there – in addition to his own cleaning company – until late in the evening. What impact has the current corona crisis had on the activities of the Samen Kracht community center in the past year and also this year?
Board members Ris van Overeem and Roland van den Eijnden were physically present in the beautiful building. At 20.53 the sun went down and Mohammed and Nadia broke the fast, called ‘Iftar’ in the presence of Ris and Roland. Due to the Islamic month of fasting, Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset.
While waiting for Mohammed and Nadia to join us, we are already starting the Think Tank session. The future of Samen Kracht was explored during the Think Tank. With questions such as: How can Samen Kracht communicate in a future-proof way? How can we better position our community center in terms of marketing strategy? Due to the corona crisis, many activities have been discontinued. Moreover, they have noticed how difficult it has become to reach their target groups. It has actually become even more needy.
Mohammed and Nadia are also ready after the meal: “Our wish is therefore to increase the reach of our Foundation in order to support a larger group of vulnerable residents. For this we need help with applying for a budget/subsidy. Activities from the community center are necessary because we offer different groups support for a place in society. For example, we give language lessons to elderly people with a language delay with the help of volunteers. We help children with their homework who have difficulties with certain subjects at school and who do not receive guidance from home. We also offer meals to local residents who live on welfare and barely have any money left for a good hot meal.” During the Corona period they started new activities, such as homework guidance during the lockdown. Nadia explains: “Many children do not have a good laptop or computer at home to follow the online lessons. And home schooling by the parents becomes all the more difficult if they speak little or no Dutch.” Recently, Samen Kracht received a donation of a number of laptops, which enabled the class to be expanded.
Nadia: “I just started a girls’ club for the age group 10 to 15 years: make-up, making jewelry, fashion shows, mosaics, getting out and being creative with each other.” For a number of projects they receive subsidies or contributions from authorities. This does not alter the fact that many activities were forced to cease and the community center was largely closed. so there is no income.”
Neighborhood house indispensable in the neighborhood
In 2014, the couple founded the Samen Kracht foundation together with the aim of supporting vulnerable local residents where necessary with social problems. Of course they also find the social function of the community center important. Think of a chat and putting a heart to each other. The community center forms the backbone of the Bos en Lommer district, which is why it is important to give these residents a voice. The think tank is intended to collect the ideas and advice of this evening and to share it with, for example, municipal authorities. Our goal was to focus on the bigger picture. So that the marketing contributes to the long-term goals of Samen Kracht. So that the sum of expressions yields more for the brand or in this case the community center. The participants in the Think Tank came up with a number of suggestions to strengthen the position of the community centre. These will be further elaborated in the coming period and tested for feasibility. Nadia and Mohammed were happy with this concrete help, which is a boost for them towards the authorities.
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