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The Makkie is a reward scheme in the Makassar-square neighbourhood, part of the Amsterdam East District. The purpose of the Makkie is to empower local people; to encourage them to take an active role in their community and to improve livability in the neighbourhood.


Although urban renewal has taken place in most parts of the Amsterdam East District, the Makassar-square neighbourhood is an example of a neighbourhood that needs extra assistance to overcome high unemployment and problems related to low-income, low-education, and cultural differences. The municipality, housing corporations and local residents joined hands to improve the neighbourhood. De Makkie is one of the means to reach this goal.


Local residents are rewarded with Makkies when they actively contribute to their neighbourhood or when they help their neighbours on request of the municipality, housing corporations, welfare institutions or professional organisations. It includes for example: cleaning public space, doing the housekeeping for an elderly person or helping  to organise a local event. Makkies can be redeemed for goods and services at local shops and organisations. With Makkies for instance, you have free entrance to the cinema, museum, or swimming pool, a significant rebate at local independent traders or a free subscription at the library. Participants of the reward scheme are also encouraged to offer each other help, for instance by babysitting or offering administrative help. As a rule, the value of one hour of work equals one Makkie


The local government, the housing associations and other professional partners have joined to structurally improve the area. Together with residents they established the Makassar-square Community (MPC).


The objectives of this partnership are:


  • to improve the public space. Experience has shown that a community currency programme encourages residents to help improve that public space themselves, as they are rewarded for their work. Residents can earn Makkies when they participate in these projects.


  • decreasing social isolation. In this neighborhood there are many people who have little contact with their neighbours or with other local residents. Often these are people who are socially or physically disabled, who are not able to work, or who are not integrated and have difficulties with the Dutch language. The MPC wants to identify those people and support them to participate in society. Fellow residents contact these people and they receive credits from the local welfare organisation in exchange for activities like taking these people for a walk, play a game or helping them out with cleaning, cooking, shopping, etc.


  • to enhance skills and self esteem. Many people in the Makassar-square neighbourhood are unemployed, poorly educated and their opportunities for employment are small. They often get discouraged, have no daily rhythm, and lose sight of their skills and the chance to play a role in society. Community currency programs address people’s abilities, not their limitations. The possibility to earn points can stimulate people to become active again. By doing little tasks, people not only help other people and their neighbourhood, but also build a network, learn new skills, get a daily rhythm again, and as a result their employment opportunities increase.


  • to strengthen local entrepreneurs and the link between them and their neighbourhood. Local companies are really important for a neighbourhood. They create jobs, bring liveliness, contribute to safety on the streets. Developing linkages between these local companies, businesses and the residents is therefore of vital importance. Entrepreneurs accept the community currency as a payment for certain products or services and at the same time they provide internships for young people and assist them in obtaining a basic qualification.


At this moment at least 500 residents and 30 companies and public service providers are participating in the program.


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Type of initiative Other (specify): Complementary Currency
Field of work Trade, Financial services
Date of commencement February 2012
Founder(s) Consortium of residents, local government and housing associations
Legal form Under construction
Continent Europe
Country Netherlands
City Amsterdam
One or several keywords that describe your initiative Community Currency, Time Bank, active citizenship
Publications newsletter, press releases
More information

Contact person(s)

Sander de Rijke (, Feye van Olden (, Wilfred Schilt (


Contact information

Name Het Makkie Informatie Punt, De Meevaart
Address Balistraat 48a
Zip/postal code 1094 JN
Place Amsterdam
State/province Noord Holland
Country Netherlands
Phone +31 ( 0 ) 20 760 10 40



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