A Poem for someone else written by a student
Today was the final presentation day of Project Catch.

For 31 weeks we worked together with 24 teenagers (15-17 years). Our sole goal was to get them more empowered, on the road to resilience, in touch with their needs. 

For this we adapted our program frequently. The basis remains expressive writing about experiences, thoughts and believes. Sharing these in stories, lyrics, poems, mood-boards combined with visual techniques is all possible. 

Somehow feeling sad to say goodbye after such an intense year in which they put so much trust into collaborating with the PJs. 

"It was great to see these teenagers express themselves in such divers ways.  To see them (re)discover other ways to get energy from, gives us energy to!"

PJs allowed for plenty of room for experimental education with ad-hoc decisions based on their needs. From how to search for information and validate this using both your smartphone and/or computer to social skills like coaching on job interviews. One special happening was the students  initiative to create a song for a 12 year old girl who was brutally killed.

"As a red tape we try to show them there is not one true path but many different ones one can choose from.
That is why our first lesson starts with writing about an experience that had a big impact on their lives. Sharing this with their peers connects and builds trust. It clears away obstacles enabling them to step onto a side path where they share their feelings to someone that means a lot to them. We purposely spend quite some time on the creation of that present; they write their own text, choose the typography, coloring, layout and photo or own drawing. This results in a beautiful gift made with much effort and love for which they receive much appreciation, again connecting them closer in building a bond that will strengthen them to step further on their path of life."

As a farewell present PJs created a video compilation of their work. To view this video see the link at the bottom (text and audio in Dutch only).

Feedback PJs received from the school:
" I was always surprised about the raw honesty of my students.
Within  1 ½  hours they wrote about a past emotion / experience / event that made much impact on them, followed by presenting this in front of their peers.

As a teacher I got a first impression about their skills, but I also got a glimpse into their soul. PJs work on the personal and creative skills of the students. They are allowed to be themselves and develop what they need.

This resulted in a personal poem (which gave a feel good / positive feeling to the student). Writing has a healing, binding and an enlightening influence."

Sheratee Marlin - Mentor and care coordinator ROCvA Gaasterland

Project Catch is made possible by:
The students & teachers of RocVaClick F1 and DMO (Dienst Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling Amsterdam) -  City of Amsterdam, Social Development Service

About Catch: Is a project for youth in Amsterdam from 12 to 23 years. Using drama, music , dance, media or writing, they can strengthen their social skills, talent and work to develop their confidence.



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