About the Project
IMC Weekend School, founded in 1998, introduces children aged 10 to 14 from disadvantaged neighborhoods and often of migration background to the world of work through passionate professionals acting as volunteers. It has 10 schools throughout the Netherlands. It is expanding globally (Brussels, Hong Kong).
In a three-year course, volunteers introduce students to a wide range of professions and topics, including medicine, law, computer studies, philosophy, astrology, and the arts. The curriculum also includes training in presentation, research, debate, and conflict resolution.
The goals of the program are to provide students with the skills, knowledge, and audacity that are needed to find a place in society that matches their capacities. The 10 Dutch branches have 1,000 students. Around 3,500 volunteer guest teachers participate each year. Companies and foundations fund all branches.
Members of the alumni program – 1,823 in 2015 – encourage each other to persevere in developing their talents, and help teach the younger generations. The school’s research unit collaborates with universities in studies of impact factors. Data shows that IMC Weekend School alumni have better professional prospects, are more self-aware, and feel more connected with society.
IMC Weekend School is innovative in that it provides real-life education. It connects youth to passionate professionals, who engage them in their worlds. The contacts created between different social classes affect both the students and the guest teachers.