During these times of quarantine, it is easy to fall into a routine and it might be challenging to maintain your mental health. Not having your friends and family around is a difficult situation for everyone, regardless of whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. That is why here at Match we compiled an useful list of tips on how you can get some help from the local community and how you can offer your help to those in need.
Offering Your Help in the Local Community
Offer your company to other international residents of the Maastricht area
The Maastricht City Council in cooperation with local media organizations has set up a Slack channel for international residents of the Maastricht area. There you can not only be informed about the recent news and updates from Maastricht and Southern Limburg, but you can also get in touch with other fellow internationals stuck in Maastricht. To join, go to www.mivoc-20.slack.com.
Find opportunities to help in your area online
With the online database Help Elkaar Nu (Help Each Other Now) at www.helpelkaar.nu, you can find opportunities to help people in need. Just set your location, and the type of help you would like to offer! You can choose between support for mental health, transportation, elderly care, kids schooling, and a few others. Don’t speak Dutch? No worries! There are also offers for English speakers. Besides, there is no need to register. The only thing you need is some free time and motivation.
Help our healthcare heroes
Some local institutions in Maastricht also offer opportunities to support people directly involved in the fight against the coronavirus. Go to www.helponzehelden.nl (Help Our Heroes) and find a task suitable for you. You can choose to volunteer for a wide range of institutions, for example healthcare facilities and food banks. Some of them require some basic healthcare background, but you can always find something for yourself.
During the corona crisis, the United Nations Volunteers Programme has opened an online database of online volunteering opportunities that you can join from your own home. You can offer your help in areas such as research, ICT, translation, arts and culture, healthcare and many others. This is not only a great opportunity to help people in need worldwide, but also to make some new friends from all around the world. To join, go to www.onlinevolunteering.org/en.
Register yourself as a back-up healthcare volunteer
Due to the overcrowding of the healthcare system in the area, especially for the elderly, retirement homes and healthcare administrators have opened the so-called Academische Werkplaats Ouderenzorg Zuid-Limburg (Academic Workplace Elderly Care South Limburg). Simply speaking, it is a database of volunteers that are willing to offer their time and help in supporting the elderly care system. To take part, you can register yourself online at www.academischewerkplaatsouderenzorg.nl/awozlzorgpool. The pool is open only for the time of the corona crisis, and it will be deleted afterwards.
Volunteer with Match
At Match we deeply care about connecting students with volunteering opportunities and helping them to connect with the local community. That is why we are creating a database for students with opportunities to volunteer. It will soon be available at www.matchmaastricht.nl/get-involved/, but for now, you can find them on the University’s website at www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/support/during-your-studies/extracurricular/match. These include volunteering activities such as helping primary school children with their homework, running a teddy bear hospital, assisting elderly citizens with technology, and many more.
There are numerous other ways to offer your help which fit in all of these listed activities. To find out more, we have compiled an updated list with opportunities to help several organizations. Find it here:
Receiving Help During The Corona Crisis
Receiving practical help
Do you need some help with your daily groceries? Or maybe you need some medication delivered to your home? In Maastricht, you can get support from various local organizations, such as the Red Cross (www.rodekruis.nl/maastricht), various student organizations (at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) or from Juupu (www.juupu.nl). You can directly reach out to them and ask for whatever help you need!
Written by: Tristan