Who should help the less fortunate? A Dutch debate « Euro Weekly News

The debts of a thousand low-income Dutch households are being paid off by one of the richest families in the country.

The Van der Vorm family, which is worth 9 billion euros according to Quote, inherited its wealth from the cruise empire Holland American Line and the shipping industry. Through a network of charitable organizations, the Van der Vorms contribute more than €8 million to paying off the debts of families in need.

One of the charities, the Fonds de Loods, helps support the Van der Vorms families in Rotterdam without demanding reimbursement from the beneficiaries. The charities assistance to Dutch families with at least one child whose financial situation has been partly caused by life-changing events, including death or illness, including approximately 15,000 families in Rotterdam.

“We feel a responsibility to think about debt problems and solutions together with society,” says Bas Woudstra, director of Nieuw Vaarwater, another charity organization that works with the Van der Vorm family. “Our goal is to strengthen society. We hope it will help people get their lives back on track. We can talk forever about why people participate debtbut the fact is that the children are suffering,” Bas Woudstra told the press.

However, some Dutch authorities doubt the effectiveness of this scheme and believe that the central government should implement changes instead. Godfried Engbersen, professor of sociology at Erasmus University, told the press: “For some this is fate, while others are left with their debts. “We must be careful that we do not become increasingly dependent on private initiatives.”

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