VSNK – “Van Schulden naar Kansen”

Poverty as a result of problematic debt is a serious social issue. Every year, about 90,000 people apply for credit counseling. Some of them are in problematic debt, and we want to prevent them from needing credit counseling. Dealing with an issue as large and complex as poverty requires a broad coalition between funds, government, and NGOs.

The Van Schulden Naar Kansen (From Debt to Opportunities, VSNK) project aims to significantly reduce the number of households battling poverty and problematic debt. The program, which is currently being run in four large Dutch cities, helps people with or on the verge of debt issues gain financial independence. Local organizations work with these people to structure or gain insight into their finances, or teach basic numeracy skills. Some organizations help participants find employment or education. Others teach participants to control and organize their spending.

It’s essential that we work together with local partners who can teach people in or on the verge of debt the skills they need to stabilize their financial situation. They know how to reach and motivate hard-to-reach people who need our help the most. Besides providing financial support and employing volunteers from the business world, VSNK helps them increase their impact. For example, insights from the HvA’s long-term research project are being used to fine-tune their methods, target audience, and effectiveness. The VSNK program works with a very diverse range of social partners and cities. That diversity is very beneficial, because it enables them to learn from each other. Because all these funds, municipalities, research institutes, and NGOs have joined forces, many families are now on their way to becoming financially independent.

Our collaboration with Delta Lloyd Foundation, resulting in the VSNK program, has resulted in several local initiatives in disadvantaged Amsterdam and Rotterdam neighborhoods.

About this partner

Stichting van Schulden naar Kansen (‘From Debt to Opportunities Foundation’) has been working to promote financial independence in the Netherlands since 2008. With its From Debt to Opportunities program, it is working towards the specific goal of reducing poverty caused by problematic debt in 4 Dutch cities within 5 years, by acting to bring together and coordinate civil society organizations, knowledge and research institutions and volunteers in those cities.

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