In October 2013, the first Quiet 500, the social counterpart of the glossy magazine Quote 500, came out to highlight and alleviate (hidden) poverty in The Netherlands. Two millionaires from the Quote 500 rallied around the initiative. This is how the National Plan for Regional Poverty Alleviation was born, and the concept of a marketplace without money was developed.
Since the beginning of 2016 you can -provided you are registered with the Voedselbank (Food Bank) in Tilburg- become a member of the Quiet Community. Tilburg is the first city to launch and test the Quiet Community. Members of Quiet receive a pass giving them access to an online platform that offers free products and services. The aim is to draw Quiet-Members out of their financial, social and psychological isolation.
Quiet wants to draw attention to hidden poverty by means of the message: “We will solve hidden poverty together.” The Quiet Community tries to stimulate people by both caring for them and by involving them in various activities. On the platform, you can choose to have a free haircut for instance, or a free meal in a restaurant, or enjoy a movie-night out with your family. But members can also join a job application training course, participate in career advice trajectories, or be helped to find work as a volunteer.
“The Quiet Community provides for more breathing space in life” – A Quiet member
Persons who find themselves in a situation of poverty, often lose money as well as their self-confidence. Quiet members obviously also have skills and abilities that can help others. More and more Quiet- Members become active within the community on a voluntary basis, helping with events and projects, and at the same time gradually gaining self-confidence. For the coming three years, the Quiet Community has a solid financial basis. Discussions have recently been initiated with other organisations with a view to providing products and services free of charge to others beside the members of the Voedselbank (Food Bank).
Meanwhile, Quiet Communities are also being set up in Den Bosch and Groningen. Let us hope that this experiment will rapidly develop throughout The Netherlands (and beyond!) and enjoy a long life. If you wish to receive additional information and/or would like to become a sponsor, please visit: www.quiet.nl.
Source: Quiet.nl and Quiet 500