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Kinderhulp and Thinkwise team up for a better future
Apeldoorn, July 27, 2023 - Thinkwise, a leading vendor of business-critical software solutions, announces a partnership with Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children living in poverty. This partnership aims to improve Kinderhulp's operational processes by leveraging Thinkwise's innovative software.
The partnership between Thinkwise and Kinderhulp came about when Maarten Zilverberg, an application manager at the foundation, got in touch with Anne Buit, Senior Software Architect at Thinkwise. Maarten, who also manages the applications supporting the Kinderzwerfboek project of Kinderhulp, realized that their existing Excel files had grown out of proportion and no longer met the operational needs of the organization.
The Kinderzwerfboek project
The Kinderzwerfboek project has the goal of providing access to books to children in poverty and promoting the joy of reading in an effort to reduce opportunity inequality. Through so-called ZwerfboekStations throughout the Netherlands, children can pick up books from these stations free of charge and then let them roam again afterwards. As the project grew to over 200,000 books a year in over 5,000 ZwerfboekStations, the Excel files used to manage them became increasingly complex.
There are no standard off-the-shelf solutions for these types of processes, but they do need to be properly administrated and accounted for. "Each station has an administrator who makes sure the inventory is kept up to date. We used to keep track of all those stations in Excel, originally created by someone with the best intentions, but the system outgrew its capabilities. It has almost become an ERP, WMS and CRM in one, but Excel was never meant for that." Maarten explains.
That is where Thinkwise came into the picture. Although the Thinkwise Platform is typically used for larger applications, because of a personal relationship with the foundation, Anne Buit decided to develop the required app in his spare time. Thanks to a new non-profit license made possible by Thinkwise, the foundation will be able to use the powerful functionalities of the Thinkwise Platform and develop and deploy the application free of charge.
Using the new zwerfboeksoftware enables Kinderhulp to significantly improve the workflow and efficiency of their operational processes. By graphically displaying all stray book stations on a map and eliminating the heavy Excel files, the day-to-day operations of the organization are significantly simplified and less prone to errors.
Maarten is excited about his first experiences with the software. He is particularly pleased with how intuitive the software is to use, and that the data is now of a much higher quality and offers a lot of insights. He also sees opportunities to further expand the software in the future, for example, to manage book stock shipments. Maarten: "We are thrilled with the opportunity to start such a unique project. For Thinkwise, and Anne in particular, this may be a small effort but for us it is a huge improvement in our operational processes of the children's stray books. And we could eventually take over development of it ourselves."
Kinderzwerfboek, part of the Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp, encourages children in the Netherlands to read enjoyable books. The initiative particularly focuses on disadvantaged neighborhoods where children have little to no books at home. Reading enhances children's linguistic insight, improves their future prospects, and reduces the likelihood of them falling into poverty. Over 15% of children in the Netherlands still leave primary education with a language deficiency. In many cases, these are children growing up in poverty.
The idea behind Kinderzwerfboek is simple: children's books with a roaming sticker are left everywhere. Children are allowed to take them for free to read. However, they must then let the books continue to roam. The journey of the books can be tracked at www.kinderzwerfboek.nl.
About Nationaal Fonds Kinderhulp
Every child deserves a carefree childhood. To be equal to their friends. To have a bike, new clothes for once. Finally, a day out, a new duvet, or maybe even a gift from Saint Nicholas. However, in the Netherlands, 1 in 12 children grow up in poverty. Their childhood is far from worry-free. They make the best of it, but are often confronted with the lack of money at home.
Kinderhulp is there for all children and young people in the Netherlands between the ages of 0 and 21 who grow up in poverty. It helps them unconditionally. For example, with a day out, a bike, education, a reading book, a warm winter coat, or a gift from Saint Nicholas. These things may seem ordinary, but they make a difference for the children. This way, they also feel included and have equal opportunities for the future, just like any other child. More information: www.kinderhulp.nl