The Netherlands: Connected talents

During autumn of 2017, 350 first and second year students from Cosmo Academy, a Dutch vocational educator, participated in a Connected Talents program. Cosmo Academy offers practical hospitality courses in three Dutch cities: Den Bosch, Haarlem and Heerenveen. In addition to teaching students in commercial recreation and tourism services, Cosmo Academy attaches value to community and voluntary services. They realize the latter by working together with MasterPeace.

The Connected Talents program consisted of three parts.

A kick-off workshop facilitated by MasterPeace: Each class participated in a kick-off workshop. During this workshop creating enthusiasm amongst the students was key. This enthusiasm helped with discovering their own and each others’ talents and helped with defining (neighborhood) projects.

A project implementation and supervision project: After the kick-off workshop the students were divided into groups of four to six and they were put in charge of carrying out their own projects. They were supervised and coached by their own teachers, which helped strengthen the bond of the teachers and students.

A jury session: A jury, consisting of a delegation from MasterPeace and Cosmo Academy, chose the most beautiful project per location in the last week before Christmas. Criteria were: creativity, teamwork, class/school/neighborhood involvement and the presentation of the project results. The winners were invited to attend a concert of choice from Diggy Dex. Diggy Dex is a Dutch rapper and ambassador of MasterPeace. In total, 32 projects were developed and carried out by the students in three months.

Project Examples

Giving free hugs in Amsterdam to connect with strangers and spread a positive spirit. Serving lunch in an elderly home, helping with Christmas decorations and facilitating different games. Organizing a quiz for primary school students to test their knowledge about the world. Making art with patients and visitors of a local hospital and sharing personal stories.

The benefit

With the Connected Talents program students experience that they can use their talents to connect and help others out. We believe that everyone has talents which he/she can use to make the world a better place. With introducing the Connected Talents program in schools, the students are actively made aware of this and get to know other people who they normally wouldn’t meet.

Next steps

Imbedding the Connected Talents program in the standard curriculum of schools and making the approach available for other MasterPeace clubs around the world.

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