Utrecht Language Heroes Named

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Utrecht Central wrote some weeks ago about the Week of Literacy across The Netherlands. This week has seen Utrechts TaalHelden show their commitment to language and literacy in the region.

Three TaalHelden or Language Heroes for the province of Utrecht have been announced, they are Johan Stets, Louay Biram and Jiska Huseman. They were elected TaalHelden because of their unique and special commitment to the Dutch language.

A total of fourteen people or projects were nominated for the regional election. TaalHelden are people who are particularly committed to a better literate Netherlands said the organisers. They are the people who stand out: as real go-getters or people who do everything they can to help someone else. As usual, as with all of these processes there are winners and losers, but in this case those who did not win should be proud of the achievements they have made. We must recognise that all of the nominees are heroes, because of the development they are going through or the help they give to others.

Johan Stets was chosen in the Language course category, because in 2016 he attended language classes at Prago at adult age and in the same year he became a Language Ambassador. As a Language Ambassador, he volunteered to promote illiteracy and to motivate others to work on their reading and writing problems

Louay Biram was chosen in the Language Tutor category, because he helped to develop a number of self-help groups and promoted the Healthy Language teaching method. Louay thinks it’s wonderful that he’s been chosen but there were so many more involved in the work who could have been rewarded..

Jiska Huseman has been chosen as “Bridge builder”. She has developed the project “Language Buddies” and in just over two years, the number of participants and volunteers has doubled to approximately 70 people.

In January there will be a National election where all regional winners will participate in the national TaalHeldenverkiezing, with, among others, HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands.

There are 2.5 million adults in the Netherlands who have difficulty reading, writing and doing arithmetic. In the province of Utrecht, approximately 8 percent of residents between the ages of 16 and 65 have difficulties with reading and writing. Everyone can contribute in his or her way to a better literate Netherlands. More information at the: week van de alfabetisering web site


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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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