Primary schools have never submitted so many applications to the Youth Education Fund for basic necessities as in the last quarter of last year. This included food, underpants and winter coats. This is reported by the fund, which primary schools can turn to for financial and material support for students who have difficulty keeping up due to poverty.

    A total of 3.6 million euros was appealed to the Youth Education Fund. According to that organization, there is an ‘alarming shift’. In 2021, for example, many schools still applied for desks, beds and laptops. According to chairman Hans Spekman, these things were necessary to give students their own place to learn during corona at home. According to him, when schools reopened, the emphasis shifted to ‘catching up’, through requests for homework assistance and coaching.

    But now the Youth Education Fund is receiving applications for protection against the cold. Spekman mentions a school in Rotterdam that wanted to buy fleece blankets. Because there is no money to turn on the heating at home, the school wanted to help parents and their children with the blankets. The number of requests for winter coats has also tripled since September.

    According to Spekman, this shows that many families have been in ‘survival mode’ since last year. “It shows that the priorities have now shifted from ‘helping to grow’ to ‘helping to exist’. That is unacceptable in a rich country like ours.”