There are times in life when things don’t go so well, and people find themselves at an impasse. They have no education, no job, and no prospects. De Harde Leerschool (‘the School of Hard Knocks’) is there to help them get back on track. Using rugby as a means.
If you don’t do anything, nothing in your life will change. But how do you get back on track? De Harde Leerschool supports people aged 18 and over to take a new step towards employment or education. And although the participants come from very different backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: They lack prospects.
A no-nonsense approach
De Harde Leerschool believes that everyone should have a chance to be actively involved in society. However, this must be achieved with a no-nonsense approach that enables people to become more assertive and physically fit. And one that also improves their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-sufficiency. Over time, the participants will discover their strengths and learn how to work in a team. They will feel healthier and fitter. And then regain a sense of belonging.
They’ll have to make a commitment to this. The programme is intensive. And not simply due to the nature of rugby, which forces participants to work very hard on themselves. But it also puts a lot of emphasis on personal development. It includes motivational sessions with top athletes and experts in the field of vitality. And participants are offered the opportunity to present themselves to employers at job fairs and through internships. There is intensive coaching throughout, with continued contact even once the programme is over.
From the couch to a steady job
Lucas considered himself cast out of society. He used to smoke a lot of weed, spent all his time on the couch. Thanks to the municipality, he could go to De Harde Leerschool. ‘At first I had my doubts. I was thinking, that’s just another institution, it probably won’t work.’ He attended De Harde Leerschool for over eight weeks. Since then, he has found a steady job and a stable income. ‘I feel great, and I feel ﬁt. And I’m feeling very comfortable in my own skin.’
Over half of the participants found employment
Is it working? By the end of 2022, we counted 329 people who completed the programme. 216 managed to find paid employment. With 32 participants obtaining a diploma!
- Healthcare institutions
- Probation service
- Salvation Army
- Other social organisations