Giving Back supports pupils with a multicultural background in secondary schools to develop their talents. In Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam these pupils are assigned to a mentor from industry or public sector. Through personal coaching the pupils are enabled to cope with major questions regarding life, school choice and future career. Via their mentor they get a first introduction in the business world and they can broaden their social network.
The work of volunteers has made Giving Back successful.
Industrial partners are PwC, Cargill, DSM, and ING Bank.
Granny’s Finest was initiated by two Rotterdam School of Management students who were concerned about the loneliness of people in elderly homes, whose talents were not challenged at all.
Granny's Finest has developed into a fashion brand; one of their initiatives led to a knitting club making fashionable products. Grannies do not receive a salary, but are invited to cultural outings in return.
Enactus VU is part of an international student organisation. Enactus aims to initiate and develop social enterprises that can run their business independently within one year. Personal development of Enactus members is part of their activities.
Showcase: Refugenius, ten thousands of refugees arrived in the Netherlands over the last few months because of the unstable situation in heir home country. The current governmental infrastructure is not able to accommodate these big numbers of refugees. Especially young refugees are at risk and isolated from educational and personal development. In close cooperation with New Dutch Connections, RefuGenius builds the Future Academy in Amsterdam.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Amsterdam
Mission: give all children in the world the opportunity to develop their talent through an 1-1 professional mentor relation with measurable outcomes.
Vision: children have the right to gain success in their life.
Organization of parents, volunteers and organizations working for children at risk; with their help, each child builds confidence, better friendships, avoids risky behavior and finishes his/her school career.
De Nieuwe Poort
De Nieuwe Poort (DNP) is a home for inspiration for anyone. DNP aims to be a counterbalance for the often so dominant economy and politics. DNP stands for the soft power that makes a human being enriched. In DNP you will meet people from different parts of society in a lively environment with music, poetry and food.
DNP is a community home where people from industry and society meet to discuss societal dilemmas. And other activities such as Het Grote Mensen Ontmoetingsdiner and the Street soccer match for youngsters and business people in Amsterdam South.
Meaning and reflection are key in DNP's mission, e.g. in so-called Reflection Lunches. DNP receives a lot of media attention, also via DNP initiator and inspirator Ruben van Zwieten.
Green Office VU
Since 2014, Green Office VU has been the sustainability platform at VU Amsterdam. A university is a place where students acquire new knowledge and experiences, but also where new habits are made. Therefore universities should act as drivers of sustainability and create a cultural change; a green movement.
"Sustainable higher education implies that the critical activities of a higher education institution are ecologically sound, socially just and economically viable and that they will continue to be so for future generations", according to the Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future.
Mission: to make sustainable and significant impact by empowering the VU community.
Vision: to become the central VU sustainability platform, where students, faculty and staff come together to implement joint initiatives, exchange ideas and create alliances. The Green Office’s activities and projects take a broad approach to sustainability, including education, research, community and campus.
Structure: the aforementioned main areas are the core portfolios within the Green Office. Every portfolio has its own responsibilities, goals and projects. The Green Office VU is lead by a team of students who run their own portfolios and the accompanied projects.