“One in ten young people are lonely”

Ten per cent of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 are lonely.

This is according to Jolanda van Gerwe of Stichting Join Us (Join Us Foundation). Simply put, her foundation helps young people make friends. So far, only in the neighbourhood of Veghel, but as of Thursday, 6 September, also in Eindhoven.

Taboo
Loneliness is a taboo subject. People in general and young people, in particular, will not readily admit that they are lonely. Yet we know little about the issues. “This is because this group of young people does not cause any nuisance”, Van Gerwe says.

During the fijne avonden (nice evenings), as Gerwe calls the meetings of young people during a Studio040-interview, a group of young adults comes together. For example, they organise a games night themselves. There are no classes or anything like that. The atmosphere is informal. In this way, the young people get tools to socialise in a natural way. They are supported by the Join Us supervisors at every turn.

More attention
“Until your 25th birthday, the biggest goal in life is to belong”, Van Gerwe says. She finds it all the more important that there is more attention to the issue. Join Us is in talks with multiple municipalities and civil society about solutions. Nationwide, there will be a university study into the method the foundation uses.

Bi-weekly
As of Thursday evening, 6 September, relief organisation Buro Cement will get together in Blixems, a community centre in Eindhoven every two weeks to talk with a group of young people who need more social contact.

Source: www.studio040.nl

Translated by: Bob

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