Stichting Kinderwerk – the Children’s Work Foundation was founded in 1995 by three playworkers. The aim of the foundation is to develop projects which help disadvantaged and vulnerable children living in society. The underlying framework of the organisation is based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), especially Article 12 (participation) and Article 31 (play, leisure and culture).
Stichting Kinderwerk The organisation supports early initiatives which need a formal legal entity. New and emerging projects are encouraged to come under the umbrella of Stichting Kinderwerk, allowing them time to develop their methodology, and activities. Following a period of support from the Stichting Kinderwerk these initiatives become established and independent. The Board comprises experienced youth workers and professionals, who support this work on voluntary basis.
Summer camp Stichting Kinderwerk’s main project is the summer camp Wanneperkamp, which has been running for 20 years. Each year, children from very diverse backgrounds come to camp, to meet each other, play and live together. The organisation works in close partnership and cooperation with schools and other local intermediary organisations to reach vulnerable and disadvantaged families recognising this as the most successful way to target children at risk who need this kind of support in summertime. The summer camp is organised and run on the Playwork Principles with the starting point that ‘all children need and young people need to play’ and that play is a process which is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated; so that children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons. After 20 years of running summer camp a number of the former participants are now volunteers and the integration of staff and participants creates a well organised and motivated team. In 2012 with support from a national programme grant Stichting Kinderwerk wrote a report outlining ways to improve voluntary work with children and young people.
Initatives Realised initiatives in addition to the summercamp include:
- ‘The moving box-project’ to introduce children in their new environment after a change in housing. (2004)
- The Union of child workers and youthwork, see www.bvjong.nl (2006-2010).
- The privatisation of Roefelen, a method to support children to take a look behind the scenes at companies, shops, institutions and organisations and where possible actively participate. As a result they make contact with a variety of professions and take part in play, sports and cultural activities and hobbies see www.roefelen.nl