From the (Eu)region, for the (Eu)region

Serve the City unites Maastricht

Beverlianne Green moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Maastricht to pursue a master's degree in Contemporary Literature and Arts: Cultural Interventions and Social Justice. Adjusting to living and studying in Maastricht took some getting used to. Moving on your own to a new country with a different culture and language and without a support network can be challenging. Upon her arrival in Maastricht, Beverlianne quickly realised that she wanted to get involved with the local community.

Living in a bubble

"When I moved to Maastricht, I noticed that I ended up in a ‘university bubble’. Through various activities, I quickly met other international students, but I did not want to limit my experience in Maastricht to this relatively small group. I wanted to orient myself more broadly and connect with the city and its residents."

After doing some research, Beverlianne discovered the Personal & Professional Development Portal of Maastricht University. Through this portal, she found Serve the City, an organisation that immediately appealed to her. Serve the City focuses on connecting people. Those who are struggling can rely on the volunteers of Serve the City. Whether it is large projects or small gestures, almost nothing is too much.

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2. Serve the City © Joris Hilterman

Various projects and activities

For example, Beverlianne, along with a group of other volunteers, helped a Maastricht resident install a new floor. Serve the City connected the volunteers with a team of professionals, and together they completed the task. "Special skills are not necessary; with the help of dedicated professionals, we as volunteers can accomplish a lot. We really work as a team."

In addition to smaller tasks, large projects are also organised. For instance, volunteers visit the asylum seekers' center from time to time and organise events like a beauty day. "On days like that, we organise activities for the children, while the women can enjoy facials or have their nails done. Respect and openness are very important during these events." Of course, the various neighborhoods of Maastricht are not forgotten either. "We regularly organise clean-up actions during which we clean up litter together with locals and plant new plants."

The NOAH friendship platform

The efforts of Serve the City are important, Beverlianne believes. "There is a lot of loneliness in Maastricht, both among internationals and locals." Therefore, in addition to all the volunteer actions, Serve the City has also set up the NOAH platform, a friendship platform where you can meet new people. "We organise community dinners and other group activities where internationals and locals can come together in an informal way."

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There is a lot of loneliness in Maastricht, both among internationals and locals.
Beverlianne Green
3. Serve the City © Joris Hilterman

Broaden your horizon

Beverlianne finds a lot of satisfaction in her volunteer work. "I love playing a role in our projects and working with different people. Through this, I have met so many new people. I have learned a lot from everyone and had experiences that I would not have had otherwise. It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with a diverse group of people."

Beverlianne encourages others to get to know Serve the City as well. "Whether you want to become a volunteer or just want to join an activity, do not hesitate. It does not matter if you are from Maastricht or new to the city. Everyone is welcome, and everything is entirely without obligation."

Text: Sanne Handels
Photos: Joris Hilterman

Whether you want to become a volunteer or just want to join an activity, do not hesitate.
Beverlianne Green

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