For more than 15 years, the Jeugdtheaterschool Zuid-Oost (JTSZO) has worked with those aged from two to 19, introducing them to the arts and encouraging them to develop their personalities and skills.
Most are from the less-privileged areas of Amsterdam Zuid Oost and their sessions at JTSZO teach them how to improvise, to present themselves well and to believe in their ambitions, while also developing their theatrical and artistic sides.
So powerful are the results that many former JTSZO students return to work as teachers, hold masterclasses, supervise research and support the school in any way they can.
Volunteers from Global Communications helped paint performance and rehearsal studios at Heesterveld, as well as the attached offices and the kitchen, and then joined teachers and students for a theater workshop that included a series of acting exercises and mini-performances. Afterwards there was a ‘borrel’ – an informal get-together – catered by local students.
The volunteers thoroughly enjoyed their day.
“The thing I appreciated most was putting our corporate ‘bubble’ in context in relation to the reality of life in the Bijlmer area, and the chance to build bridges with this community,” said one.
Another added: “We should continue with these kinds of activities. It’s a chance to meet colleagues in a different way, to get some distance from work and contribute to society.”