PDEng trainees and school children take to the neighborhood streets

More playgrounds, more bike lanes or traffic lights at dangerous intersections: PDEng trainees and school children take to the streets for the TU/e Social Hero Program in collaboration with the MOVE foundation to find out what can be improved. Over the next few weeks, small groups of trainees and children will identify these points of improvement.

photo Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

“I think that corona triggered something in all of us: we want to be more helpful to others,” says PDEng trainee Software Technology Respa Putra. That is why he and three fellow trainees decided to join the TU/e Social Hero Program that collaborates with the MOVE foundation. The foundation is active in several cities and aimes to improve city's cocial wellbeing. And that's exactly what the trainies are going to do.

“Due to corona-related reasons we can explore the neighborhood in small groups only, but every little bit helps. When they return to their classrooms, the children will report on the things they noticed and want to change. Think of garbage in the streets or not enough playgrounds.” The trainees will then work with the children to achieve a number of improvements.

“We only have a limited budget that we have to collect ourselves. We have to make do with three hundred euros.” But that’s also where the challenge lies, Putra says. “We can approach local residents or business owners for help. It’s really about arousing people’s goodwill.”

Part of a team

This kind of voluntary work is both rewarding and instructive at the same time, Putra says. “You become part of a team of fellow TU/e students or employees, and everyone fulfils his or her own role. I’m responsible for communications, two teammates act as manager and treasurer respectively, and a fourth team member tries to come up with activities we can organize with school children.”

In short, participants learn how to collaborate as part of a team, how to make a long-term planning, and how to work with budgets. “I particularly want to gain experience in teamwork, but it’s also great fun to be part of a physical activity again after the lockdown!”

The project has to be completed before the summer. “The project will take a month or two, during which we will have seven meetings in total with the children.”

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