In August, many schoolchildren buy their new school supplies, to start the new school year well equipped. This is not the case for every child, because on average 1 in 12 children in the Netherlands and Belgium grow up in poverty. They do not have the means to buy new notebooks, pens and cover paper, while it is important that they can make the same start as their classmates. The bol.com bollebozen, together with the Dutch foundation Kinderen van de Voedselbank and the Belgian Federation of Food Banks, is therefore distributing 4,000 bol.com gift cards of 25 euros in each country to children growing up in poverty. With these cards they can order free school supplies from bol.com in the run-up to the new school year.
Maurice van der Ven, founder of Stichting Kinderen van de Voedselbank: “We have found that it is important for a child’s self-confidence to be able to show off a new coat or shoes once in a while. The same goes for school supplies. It gives a child a sense of belonging and being seen.” Jef Mottar, deputy director of the Belgian Federation of Food Banks, also stresses the importance of the action. “Every month, the Belgian food banks support thousands of families in need with food and clothing, among other things. We see how even the smallest gestures can make a significant contribution to a child’s happiness. That’s what we do it for. We are therefore incredibly grateful to bol.com for allowing us to participate in this wonderful initiative.” The network that the foundations have built up in recent years will be used to distribute the total of 8,000 gift cards.
Not every child has the same opportunities and possibilities. Together with partners and civil society organizations, the bol.com bollebozen wants to organize activities and projects that counteract opportunity inequality in children. Jori Ebskamp, Lead CSR & Sustainability at bol.com: “The back to school period starts soon. For many children this is a nice moment, because then they can buy new school stuff. But not every child gets the chance to enjoy this and we think that should change. After all, everyone deserves a good start to the new school year.”