News Projects Social Improvement
“It isn’t about price or size to feel the joy of giving”
Jeanine Pietersz-Maria is a teacher at the M.M. Römerschool and co-creator of the ‘WeCare4You’ project that the school carries out, for the first time with all of its classes, this year.
Together with her class of 2020, she decided to take the common December-generosity a step further. Jenny agreed to answer a couple of our questions about the idea behind the project.
How was ‘WeCare4You’ created?
“Every year in December our school participates in the ‘Bon bisiña’ project, for which, together with the parents and children, we collect food and care items to give to the less fortunate in our society. However last year, after the holiday season, I thought of the many families in our society who are in need year-round. So, I started thinking about carrying out something like Bon bisiña every single month. I then pitched the idea in class, to collect and give each month to other children, and my kids were immediately hooked.
The name of the project consists of four components. ‘We’, which refers to humanity in general. ‘Care’ instead of ‘love’, to give it more meaning. ‘4’ instead of ‘for’, hinting to the school, the children, the parents and the receiving foundation, and ‘you’ to make it personal.
The goal of the project is to stimulate children to be kind to each other and that sharing and giving brings meaning to life. Not only giving something away that they themselves don’t use anymore, but also something that is in great condition and maybe even is a favorite to play with. Realizing that if it makes them happy, it could make someone else happy too. “
How did you involve the children and what was their reaction to the concept?
“The first step of implementing the project was by talking to my kids. About the idea behind the concept and what it means to have ‘a beautiful heart’ and be kind to each other. Another way I involved the kids was by letting them choose the name of the project. After brainstorming for a while, it was one of the kids who came up with WeCare4You, and I immediately thought it was a great idea.
Off course in executing the project, it is the parents who buy and/or collect the food and care items, but the kids actually bring them to the classroom. So, another way I involve all the kids every month, is by showing them in class what we’ve collected. And after the delivery to the children’s home, I show them pictures of my visit. This way the kids are able to follow the process and are aware of each step taken and yet to take.
I really have gotten awesome reactions from the children and their helpful parents. Last year the children even asked me at the end of each month if the receiving party was happy with what they’ve gotten that month. This shows the involvement and dedication of the kids.”
Dreaming big, what do you wish you accomplish with WeCare4You?
“I hope that other schools get notice of the project and actively follow the idea. That they realize that a project like this is worth doing throughout the year, instead of just in December. I am glad that the head of my school believed in the project and made it possible to make it a project carried out by the entire school, with the various classes collecting and giving in different months.
But by far the most important part of the project is the focus on the children. I hope to keep stimulating the children to become aware of the importance of giving and caring about others. For them to learn that they are in control of helping other children too and for them to learn from a young age that giving is more satisfying than receiving. That you can even create happiness within another person by a simple act of kindness like giving. I want them to really know that it isn’t about price or size to feel the joy of giving and helping other people.”