Imad Aoulad Taher: “The youngsters here have qualities and talents that can be put to use in the neighbourhood. That is how we make them role models for others.”
Chronically healthy in the Van Deyssel neighbourhood
Youth coach Imad Aoulad Taher understands the world of youngsters in Amsterdam-West. “Ten years ago, I was one of them. I speak the language of the street. Nothing has been done for this group for years.” Now that has changed. Using sport as a tool, Imad coaches youngsters in the neighbourhood not just in sport, but in their life, by giving them various tasks in the neighbourhood.
The youngsters that enter the office at the Van Deysselstraat trust Imad and his team and they reach out to them more frequently. Healthcare organisation Puur Zuid isn’t waiting till youngsters approach them for support, but they actively visit them at Imad’s work space. This way they are able to support the youngsters more directly. Within the informal care environment, that Imad created, this formal support is welcomed.
When Covid-19 hit the accessibility of formal care was more difficult. This proved how important the informal care environment, as provided by the entrepreneurs in the Van Deysselstraat, was for the neighbourhood. More than before, the residents reached out to the entrepreneurs with their health related questions. In collaboration with healthcare organisation Humanitas DMH, the designers collective Cascoland is facilitating and visualising this informal care environment. They invite the formal care organisations to become part of and collaborate with the informal network.
Informal carers are the linking pin with a chronically healthy Van Deysselbuurt.