my volunteering experience
On the MOVE
connecting schools, students and neighborhoods
It has been scientifically proven that meaningful bonds make us feel connected and are one of the key ingredients to happiness. That is why the MOVE-project was especially important: not only it was an interesting experience for both students and children, but it was essential to build stronger connections within one's surroundings and change a small region for the best.

For five weeks we worked together in a group of five students: Camilie, Puck, Fien, Kim and Yulia in the Tarieq Ibnoe Ziyad school group 8A in Eindhoven. The program was split into five Think and Do sessions, university tour and the festive ending as the main resulting event of the project.
Before the beginning of the project children chose their preferred topic, which became Movement and Health. At the first meeting we played games to get to know each other better and listened to the kids' vision of the neighborhood. Discovering the area and walking around it while talking to people led to the brainstorm session and choosing the final idea: healthy food picnic and sports! Based on the talent quiz group 8A was split into different teams to work on organization of the final event. Everyone implemented their tasks with care and thought of details to have the best possible outcome. Flyers were designed and list of foods were created to proceed to the festive ending.

On 24th of June group 8A together with MOVE gathered at Kronenhof garden and prepared a picnic. Lots of vegetables and different cuisine examples from all over the world: Netherlands, Turkey, Iraq, Moldova and many more. After getting lost in salads, fruit and healthy sandwiches while talking to each other on comfy blankets under the…well, not the sun but at least without rain (which is already quite an achievement for Dutch weather), kids went to play basketball and soccer at the field.

While interviewing our young participants during a picnic, we found out that most of them found the experience indeed interesting, unusual, good and…delicious! For us it was important to find out that children enjoyed the process of organizing events for their region. Moreover, they were impressed by the student life tour around university and study associations: they were surprised how big and versatile TU/e was and it made them look forward to the student life in the future.

It was fascinating to see how eager they were to perform their tasks at the highest level, how involved they became and how good they were at working together. We found it impressive that our collaboration was so appreciated by them and we definitely enjoyed it as well.

For me as for the first year international student, this experience has been truly special. It gave me the opportunity to not only meet more people and become more engaged in Dutch culture, but also to feel myself a part of something bigger.

It was striking how attentive kids were as listeners to each other. Taking pictures and talking to the children (sometimes even in my poor Dutch) gave me the chance to seek more into the topic of what happiness is and how we can contribute to the common well-being just by staying closer. This is what worked for me as my own happiness recipe: volunteering.
I strongly believe that by taking part into this kind of projects we can build a stronger, more powerful and, most importantly, happier society. I want to thank both CHEOPS and MOVE for giving me this wonderful opportunity and see the sunshine on the weekly basis by joining this volunteering experience. I want to thank the girls who were always actively engaged (we had such a lovely team!), and, of course, our project coordinator Danique, who was leading the way and always had relevant tips at hand for us. I want to thank the Tarieq Ibnoe Ziyad school for being such a welcoming and friendly place. And, of course, I want to say thank you to all the kids for their smiles and joy they brought at every meeting.

I got two lovely drawings of myself and I am keeping them close to my heart. It is where I also keep memories of my volunteering at MOVE in general.

I totally recommend you to watch the video above and read more about MOVE at their website:
Full of love, student of CHEOPS at TU/e, coordinator communication MOVE,

Our lovely team :)
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