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Young people often have their first financial expenses around the age of 16, and some of them can handle that responsibility better than others. Around 40 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 owe at least one debt. For 15 percent of them, the debt is even considered high risk. The number of young people applying for debt relief has risen dramatically over the past few years. Money problems can hold young people back at the start of their independent lives. They suffer from stress and sleepless nights, poor performance in school and increasing social isolation. The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems: around 30 percent of young people have lost income because of them.
“Around 40 percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 owe at least one debt.”
Humanitas: volunteers teach young people financial skills
Few volunteer organizations in the Netherlands focus on financial guidance for young people. That’s why Humanitas has developed ‘Get a Grip’: a unique method and training course to reach and mentor young people aged 16 to 26 with looming or urgent financial problems. Humanitas uses pre-tested social media campaigns to reach young people before their debts become problematic. The organization aims to address the shame they feel about their financial problems so that they will look for help sooner. Well-trained Humanitas volunteers then support the young people in getting their financial administration in order, and keeping it that way. They help with things like writing a list of all their subscriptions and contracts with companies or other organizations. And if their money issues threaten to get out of hand, then the volunteer works with the young person to find a solution. Humanitas hopes to roll out this approach nationwide in the near future.
Get a Grip’s impact in 2020
In 2020, Humanitas reached a total of 182 young people, via 35 local Humanitas departments, through the Get a Grip program:
The awareness campaign enabled Humanitas to reach another 316,709 young people.
The coronavirus pandemic affected Get a Grip’s results in 2020, however. For example, some departments began offering the program later than others. Reaching young people also proved to be more difficult than expected.
Humanitas and Rabo Foundation
Humanitas’ Get a Grip program is a close fit with our strategy in the area of Financial Self-reliance. For example, in its social media campaign Humanitas focuses on breaking down taboos on seeking help among young people. We supported Humanitas Association with a donation of 180,000 euros. That allowed the organization to implement the Get a Grip programme in fourteen extra departments throughout the country in 2020. Humanitas also joined forces with local Rabobank locations in a variety of areas. These banks referred young people with financial problems to Humanitas, publicized the project or participated in workshops.
Get a Grip in 2021
The goal for 2021 is for twenty new Humanitas departments in the Netherlands to join the Get a Grip program. Humanitas will also launch another large-scale social media campaign, and it is developing an online self-help package that young people can use to get their finances in order on their own.
Explore our impact report 'Financial Self-reliance' to find out more about our results in 2020 and read more stories that showcases how we contribute to an inclusive society in the Netherlands.