Ambassador: Abdelhamid Idrissi , Netherlands
Abdelhamid founded Positive Society to help children in underprivileged areas to access educational and psychosocial support in their own neighbourhoods. Positive Society hosts study sessions for 600 children each week in 24 Studiezalen centres across Amsterdam. Studiezalen are study rooms that are set up in low income neighbourhoods to provide students with a quiet place to study and access to tutors and mentors when required. The Studiezalen are located as centrally as possible in each neighbourhood to ensure they are accessible to any child in the area. Coaches are often adults from the children’s personal networks that they have identi ed as people they look up to. These coaches develop personal relationships with the children while encouraging them to develop academically, personally and socially. Studiezalen also promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fruit to the students in attendance, donated in-kind by Albert Heijn. Coaches also work with the parents to develop a relationship of trust and mutual understanding. Positive Society has also set up a weekly support group for fathers of children in the Studiezalen, to fully understand the needs of their children and to provide a safe space for fathers to voice concerns and share experiences of fatherhood. Currently 80 fathers attend weekly group meetings. Positive Society prides itself on developing each of its programmes through building relationships with and understanding the needs of the communities it wishes to serve.
Positive Society also runs a programme for children who are bullied both inside and outside of school. The PEST life coaching programme works with both the victims and perpetrators of bullying, teaching them about self con dence, self awareness and the impact of negative actions. PEST life coaching has helped 100 children so far. Additionally, Positive Society runs a summer school for children before they enter high school, teaching them about the challenges that they may face in their new school. The summer school covers topics such as cyberbullying, periods and feminine hygiene, puberty and grooming. To date, 180 children have been educated through these schools.
Abdelhamid attended One Young World 2018 The Hague as a Shell Scholar. Attending the Summit hugely boosted the exposure and visibility of Positive Society, contributing to Abdelhamid winning Amsterdammer of the Year in 2018. Since then, Abdelhamid has been approached by a variety of news outlets, further boosting his pro le which has spread awareness of Positive Society’s mission.