Local Group MeetUp055 Organised Activity Featuring Three Guest Speakers
With the goal of discussing the state of mental health care in the Netherlands, Apeldoorn citizen group MeetUp055 organised an event that was hosted by Wittenborg last month (28.04). Attended by approximately 70 people, the debate was inspired by an episode of the Dutch investigative documentary TV series 'Tegenlicht’.
The activity featured three guest speakers: chairperson of the PILL foundation and author of the book 'Wie is er nu eigenlijk gek?' ('Who is really crazy?') Ewout Kattouw, care worker Bram van der Leden and chairperson of the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ) Ruth Peetoom. Among other topics, they discussed the fact that 90,000 people are waiting for mental health care in the Netherlands and other challenges faced by the country in this sector.
To help organise the event, Wittenborg recruited four volunteers among its students, who were assigned tasks such as preparing and serving drinks, welcoming and talking to guests and making sure that the atmosphere was pleasant and comfortable.
Wittenborg’s CEO Maggie Feng highlighted that the school agreed to host the event because it is a way to connect its international students with the local community, and also due to the importance of the topic discussed.
“By linking the global to the local, we intend to be a ‘glocal’ institution and make the difference not only for our students, but also for Apeldoorn and its people. In addition to that, the topic of mental health care is crucial for society and became even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed challenges for many people, including students. We are also aware of the challenges faced by the mental health care system and because we feel that this topic is very close to us we agreed to facilitate the discussion,” Feng said.
MBM student Lukman Onaolapo, specialising in Logistics & Trade, said that he really enjoyed volunteering at the event, adding that he would like to participate in future initiatives of this kind. “I decided to volunteer for Meetup055 when I read what it was about, because mental health is a serious topic and we all need support and care at some point in our lives. The event was great and it turned out to be an amazing opportunity to connect and learn,” he stressed.
For Reihaneh Ahsanizadeh, who is pursuing an MBM degree in Event Management, participating in the activities as a volunteer was a way to meet new people and develop valuable skills such as teamwork and serving guests. “It was a very good experience! Volunteering and helping others always gives me positive energy, and what I liked the most was being able to work as a team. I am definitely open to participating in other activities like this.”
by Ulisses Sawczuk