24 June 2019
During the third academic year of the Hotel Management School Maastricht you will get the opportunity to choose from a selection of special projects. Within these so-called ComIn projects, central themes include working together, facing challenges head-on but most of all, being selfless and putting the needs of others first. ComIn stands for Community Involvement, and the name perfectly describes the intent: being involved in the world we live in.
My name is Annabel de Ruiter. I have completed my ComIn project and would like to share with you my experience.
I have learned about ComIn through one of my lecturers, Mr Michaud. He informed me about the project called TeamUp. This is a collaboration between Unicef, Save the Children and War Child. I had already heard about these organisations, thus this project immediately gained my interest. TeamUp ensures that young children (aged 6 to 11 years) in Dutch asylum seeker centres learn to deal with basic emotions such as anger, sadness and fear in a playful manner.
This project fitted right in with my experience as a summer camp leader, and gave purpose to my societal interests. I took interest in the project, applied and was taken in right away. Along with a fellow student I was sent to a two-day training programme. During the training we learned more about the children’s ethnic background, cultural differences, the setup of their classes and elements of play to implement in these classes. We also learned how to communicate in a non-verbal way. This was very educative, since these children are not of Dutch descent and naturally do not master the Dutch language well enough to make themselves heard.
After a while mutual recognition arose between the children and the volunteers. This added tremendous value to the classes and provided me with even more enthusiasm and dedication for this project. The team of volunteers consisted of a very diverse group of people, which I experienced as an interesting and enriching experience.