20th Ragweek Maastricht
It’s Ragweek again! The 20th Ragweek Maastricht will be held from 10 to 17 April. During this week, students from Maastricht are committed to raising money for two charities: Campagneteam Huntington and the Bibihuis Maastricht.
Together with Maastricht student, study and sports associations, the board of the Ragweek Maastricht Foundation organises all kinds of activities to raise money. The 20th Ragweek will kick off on 10 April in Moulin Rouge style. Other activities include a lottery, basketball tournament, movie night and plenty of chances to socialise over a drink. In addition to these activities, the foundation also raises money through gifts and donations.
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A complete overview of all activities can be found on the Ragweek website (in Dutch). .
What is Ragweek?
Ragweek Maastricht was the first in the Netherlands twenty years ago. Yet it was not a new phenomenon then. At the end of the nineteenth century, students in England wanted to give something back to society. They wrote poems on rags and sold them, as well as collected clothing to donate. This is how RAG (‘Raise and Give’) week came about.
Jasper Grosskurth, UM alumnus and founder of Ragweek Maastricht, experienced the concept for the first time in Ireland, during his exchange at Trinity College Dublin. He introduced it in Maastricht to increase student social involvement and to improve the relationship between students and city residents. Ragweek has now found its way into more and more Dutch student cities.
The president of Ragweek Maastricht 2019 is Claire van Doorn (22) from Culemborg. She got her bachelor's degree in Health Sciences at UM last year and wants to commit herself to the Maastricht community before she starts her master's programme. Her goal for this year: to reach as many people as possible. Claire: “The final amount is nice, but the journey we take to get there is the most important.”
Ragweek Maastricht is raising money for two charities: a national/international charity, Campagneteam Huntington, and a local charity, Bibihuis Maastricht. The charities are chosen annually and the proceeds are split equally between them.
Campagneteam Huntington raises money for scientific research into medicines for Huntington's disease. This is a fatal hereditary disease with symptoms akin to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS. There is a taboo and shame surrounding the disease. Campagneteam Huntington wants to break the taboo and, most importantly, find an effective medicine. Their mission is to make Huntington’s curable within the next ten years. And research funding is needed for that. Claire: “We’ve chosen this charity in collaboration with Ragweek Utrecht. We were inspired by Eric Reits, one of the founders. They’re doing good things by saying, ‘It's okay to talk about it’.”
The Bibihuis is a house in Maastricht (Jekerdal) that helps children between the ages of four and twelve, who need a safe and warm home due to an unbalanced home situation and serious behavioural problems. The Bibihuis also strives to relieve parents (temporarily) of their child rearing duties during the weekends and holidays in order to prevent the children from possibly being placed outside of their home. Claire: “Every year, the board chooses a different charity, so that you’re committing yourself to something that’s really important to you. There are ‘only’ fourteen children here, but because of this we’re able to really help them. They’re now setting up the second house, and it’s nice to see where the money really goes. When you cycle past it you think, ‘Hey, we paid for those curtains’.”
Are you not able to participate in one of the activities? Then you can also donate money online . The final amount collected will be announced mid-May.
The Ragweek board at the Bibihuis