Prinsengracht at De Duif (Centre)
door Mijke de Hartog
Imane is involved with numerous social projects and initiatives in the city:
Jong Plein ’40 – ‘45
Imane is a member of the Plein ’40-’45 Committee. Imane and the other committee members were involved with the preparations for the commemorations in 2020. Unfortunately, in the end a lot of the events were cancelled although Hans Teernstra (chairperson of the 4&5 May Committee Plein ’40-’45) did raise the flag half-mast on Plein ’40-’45, the second largest memorial square in Amsterdam. Laying wreaths was not allowed but the local residents made sure there were plenty of flowers. They were removed in the evening and returned early the next morning – a gesture that was much appreciated!
On 5 May Imane and her mother went on their first long walk since the start of the intelligent lockdown. During this walk they met two women, Mariska Rave and Greetje Noorlag. They were there to lay flowers on the Hester van Lennep Bridge. To commemorate the war and celebrate Liberation Day on 5 May. This was also the location in the Amsterdam Nieuw West area were people handed out Freedom Soup. Imane: ‘It was really moving to see the solidarity displayed by the people of Amsterdam. I don’t think this sense of connection is anything new though. In fact, it’s quite typical for Amsterdam!’
De Kinderstem podcast
In January Imane was asked if she wanted to become a children’s political reporter for the Kinderstem: a podcast and broadcast focusing on the elections. Well, they didn’t have to ask our future prime minister twice! Imane and co-host Lars Westra interviewed various political candidates from the main parties as well as the smaller parties and presented a weekly review of the current news.
Their interviews with politicians such as Rutte, Kaag, Klaver, Simons etc. covered both funny and serious topics, such as which minister Rutte would prefer to boot out. But they also talked about things such as female leadership with Kaag, activist leadership with Simons and Klaver’s dragon kids. Every interview was special in its own way.
This adventure resulted in an entertaining series with eight episodes and a lesson pack for schools. This proved that this series was not only interesting during the elections but also beyond that.
‘The episodes show that the voices of children really matter and that children do not only ask funny or cute questions but serious ones too. We have our own way of looking back and looking ahead. Conversations with children can make a difference. And these episodes show how important it is to talk with children since decisions made by adults have an impact on children, now and in the future. And above all, child participation is laid down in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that people should talk to us. It is our right.’
The student council
Imane was a member of the first Amsterdam Children’s Council from 2019 to 2020. This is both an interesting responsibility as well as an important initiative for young people to make their voices heard at the City of Amsterdam. From the beginning, the Children’s Council, comprising 15 council members and one children’s mayor, met once a month to talk about the city. They were supported by an independent and qualified education specialist. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the meetings were held as often as once a week. They were officially supported by Alexander Honée, democratisation adviser. In the last six months, the Children’s Council discussed various topics and initiatives and Imane and the Children’s Council managed to achieve the following:
The Children’s Council made a film about discrimination and bullying and participated in an information campaign by the Dutch Municipal Health Service (GGD).
To help people on low incomes, the Children’s Council is proposing to make public transport free of charge for children and parents with an Amsterdam city pass.
Under the theme of children’s rights, the Children’s Council has created quiet working spaces for children in partnership with the Public Library of Amsterdam. This initiative was prompted by the pandemic when it became clear that some children do not have a quiet place at home where they can do their homework. Quiet working spaces for children were created at four different library locations.
Tur-G has already got quite an impressive CV under his belt and as a social entrepreneur he cares about young people and the city.
Tur-G was born and raised in Amsterdam and he loves his home city where most people tend to get on well with each other. However, Tur-G does think that in many ways there is still room for improvement. He put his thoughts on these issues into words in his clip ‘Drill/Dat is Gangster’ where he talks about conflicts in the rap/drill scene.
‘In this track I try to prevent young people from making mistakes they will regret.’ Tur-G is aware of the impact he has and uses this to convey a positive message. Keep an eye on his YouTube channel (JET Music) to find out more about his major new project which will carry an important message.
Tur-G is a role model for a lot of young people and adults appreciate him for the positive impact he has on young people. He is a regular visitor to youth clubs where he hangs out and chats to other young people. Tur-G is involved with a series of workshops in schools in collaboration with the city district of Amsterdam Zuidoost.
by Anouar Ennali