On Thursday, 17 November Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands visited Welfare Barneveld to learn more about the ‘Pride & Future’ buddy project which connects young people with a buddy volunteer.
The Pride & Future project was developed by welfare organization Welfare Barneveld to help young people from the age of 13 become more self-sufficient in different areas of their life so that they can develop and achieve their goals. Participants are matched with a buddy mentor who provides coaching through listening and helping the young person to remove barriers to success.
Director Ellen Alders said of the royal’s visit, it is ‘very special that we might receive her here in Barneveld, which for us is an honour’.
During her visit Queen Maxima spoke with participating young people and buddy volunteers of the Pride & Future project before meeting with stakeholders of Welfare Barneveld to learn more about the organisation and the significance of companion projects such as this one.
The Welfare Barneveld buddy project is supported by the Orange Fund, which was founded in 2002 as the National Wedding Gift from the people of the Netherlands to the then Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima. As patrons, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are closely involved with the Fund’s activities which support thousands of initiatives which aim to promote social engagement.
On the same day Queen Maxima also paid a visit to the community centre De Mussen in Den Haag which is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Founded in 1926 the country’s oldest neighbourhood centre offers support to socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged members of the community and provides activities in a number of fields including art, culture and sport.
Queen Maxima toured the centre and visited an art class, watching with interest and learning more about the weekly classes which teach the children about history, arts and culture before helping them put theory into practice as they work towards making a self-portrait. She also spoke with volunteers and some of the 1,800 visitors the centre welcomes each week.