MAASTRICHT. They skipped last year because of COVID-19, but in 2021 Ragweek’s charities week is back. Between 16 and 23 April, students work together with student associations and sports associations to collect money for the “Met je hart” (With your Heart) foundation, which supports lonely elderly people in Maastricht.
Normally, Ragweek chooses two charities, a national one and a regional one. “This year, it is only a regional one, because there are fewer possibilities to collect money because of COVID-19,” says Rebecca Baijer, Ragweek secretary and forth-year student of Econometrics & Operations Research. “Then we prefer to focus on our own city.”
The programme is indeed leaner than previous editions. Where in other years there would be things such as cinema evenings, karaoke sessions, a treasure hunt, and a glow-in-the-dark football tournament, this year the organisation is sticking to the more traditional Ragweek auction and “walking dates,” says Baijer. “Sports Council MUSST will bring two people together and send them off for a walk with a cup of coffee.” Some of the earnings go into pot. At the auction, “sports articles and local products” will go under the hammer.
Student associations KoKo and Saurus are also doing their bit. Koko is organising a nomination action, says Koko chairman Quinty de Jong. “The idea is that our members knock back a beer (drinking it in one go, ed.), donate two euro and nominate someone on social media to do the same. We hope that by doing so it will set off a chain of events.”
Saurus is not doing anything special, says chairman Karel van Melle. “But we are glad to add a donation option to an existing event. With the silent disco at the end of this month, everyone who rents a headset can add an amount of their choice to donate directly to Ragweek.” A good opportunity to easily do something for lonely elderly, as Van Melle puts it. “Certainly during these times, that is important.”
The Ragweek board doesn’t have a specific amount in mind, says Baijer. “It is very difficult at the moment to be able to make an estimate. We also feel that it is important to draw more attention to the “Met je hart” foundation and to involve students more in matters of Maastricht.”