Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands made a visit yesterday to the IMC Weekend School in Haarlem, Amsterdam where she met with students who are learning to speak Dutch and learning about Dutch culture as part of the IMC Weekend on Tour initiative. The children in the programme are between the ages of nine and fourteen and are all refugees and asylum seekers who are new to the Netherlands.
Upon arrival at the school Queen Máxima was greeted by the mayor of Haarlem, Jos Wienen along with the founder and director of IMC Weekend School, Heleen Terwijn, the initiator of the IMC Weekend on Tour programme, Anouk Tijnagel, and the deputy director of the International Language Class, Mick Grobbe.
The Queen’s delight at meeting the students was clear as she was seen talking and giggling with the children as well as handing out hugs and posing for photographs. The young refugees were equally thrilled to have the much-loved royal in their midst.
While visiting the school, the Queen took part in a lesson focused on the study of medicine, which was attended by both current students and IMC alumni. The class was led by two doctors from the Spaarne Hospital Academy who spoke to the assembled crowd and their royal visitor about anatomy and the organs of the human body.
A practical lesson saw the students putting their newly acquired knowledge to good use as they drew body parts in the correct places on t-shirts. The pupils also had the opportunity to ask questions about anatomy and medical studies more generally before they presented what they had learned to the wider group. They also had the opportunity to share their dreams for their new future in the Netherlands.
The government-affiliated IMC Weekend School has ten locations across the Netherlands and works with more than 3,500 volunteers and 100 financial partners.