Hey Rick! What is your role at RPM?
Hello! I’m the coordinator of the Homework project at RPM. This means that I, together with contacts at the Internationale schakel klas (ISK) organise tutor sessions for the pupils. The ISK is a school where refugees are taught the regular high-school subjects but with extra care given towards learning the Dutch language.

Great! So, why did you decide to get involved with RPM?
I’ve always wanted to do volunteer work, but with university and life getting in the way it took me some time to actually apply. However, at a certain point I came across this random Facebook message that said that there was a need for volunteers who would teach Dutch to refugees aged 12 to 18. I remember thinking: “easy enough!” and it reminded me of one of the internships I did during my Bachelor’s degree. Here, I taught teens with a mobility disorder how to be more self-reliant in every day circumstances. I also remembered how much fun this internship was and how satisfying it is to work with this age group.
Additionally, I always kept an eye out for news from the Middle East and the refugee crisis. I figured that proper integration is one of the key factors to successful migration. And there it was; the Facebook message that combined all these aspects that interested me. The age group I liked to work with, the aspect of teaching and of facilitating the integration process of refugees. Thus, five minutes later I mailed RPM to join the team!

It was meant to be! What has been your favourite moment at RPM so far?
There is not really one favourite moment. However, what I enjoy the most is the tutorial sessions themselves because it offers me a chance to connect with and to get to know the pupils. In addition, it is good to see that the pupils are very ambitious! Most of them want to achieve some of the highest effort jobs and are ready to work hard on reaching that objective. I’m glad to say that the Homework project and its volunteers gets them a step closer to these goals.

How can people get involved with Homework Help? As volunteers or as refugees.
The Homework project is always looking for new volunteers! If you are interested in giving personalised tutor sessions with a focus on the Dutch language, then this is the role for you. Applicants can send their CV and a short motivation to rick.essers@student.maastrichtuniversity.nl