Rotterdam Special Needs Fund

Five year old Rafael used a special bus service every day to attend school. Until this service was discontinued on the grounds that cycling is healthier. But his mother couldn’t afford to buy him a bicycle. A family who had just got their finances back into reasonable order after completing a debt repayment program suddenly had to deal with a broken washing machine. Unfortunately they didn’t have any money saved up yet to buy a new one. In situations like these, the Rotterdam Special Needs Fund (Fonds Bijzondere Noden Rotterdam (FBNR)) offers help.

Each year, thousands of households in Rotterdam find themselves in a pressing financial emergency situation. Rotterdam has a higher than average proportion of people living on benefits and the average education level is lower than in other Dutch cities. One in four children in Rotterdam grows up in poverty. More than 7% of Rotterdam households have been living in poverty for a long period, more than four years, so they have no resources to deal with emergencies themselves. As a result, increasing numbers of people are getting into financial difficulties.

Dutch legislation provides for various facilities to help people with debts, but they don’t always offer an effective solution. The Rotterdam Special Needs Fund was set up to assist in such situations by providing a one-off financial donation. These situations always involve an acute emergency and the FBNR generally responds within 24 hours. In doing so, it always works in cooperation with the regular support services. There are various ways in which the Fund can provide assistance, for example by contributing to costs for moving house, rent arrears or medical expenses. Most of the donations made relate to living costs: people are given an amount to enable them to buy food and pay regular bills.

The Rotterdam Special Needs Fund functions completely independently and was established by four parties that are all involved with households in financial difficulties: private funds, ideological organizations, support institutions and the municipality of Rotterdam.

Adessium provides the Fund with support for the professionalization of the organization and in carrying out activities to support households in acute financial need.

About this partner

The Rotterdam Special Needs Fund (Fonds Bijzondere Noden Rotterdam (FBNR)) contributes, by means of a financial donation, to resolving urgent problem situations for natural persons residing in Rotterdam for whom other facilities do not offer a satisfactory solution. Contributions by the FBNR are made as a gift and are in principle provided on a one-off basis.

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