To provide a balancing act of “big granules” in the daytime activities of persons with disabilities. This is what social work student Roy Mosel wants to achieve with his social enterprise, SamenMaatjes. “The name says it all: I don’t want to be a supervisor, but a true friend.”
“Welcome to my office garden,” Roy says, laughing. He sits at one of the picnic tables among the horse-ridden meadows. His working environment today is Zorgstal Helvoirt. Here he comes every week with Isabeau. Isabeau has a disability and Roy directs her out of his social establishment.
Working with horses
They really are among the horses. There are at least 42 in the stable in Helvoirt. Special education trainees help conserve animals and land. Isabeau helps, too. In the field further afield, a girl is working with one of the horses. The large animal looks at her curiously and sticks her snout forward. When you advance toward the horse, back politely.
Roy looks at her. “Nice, isn’t it, that interaction?” He explains that horses reflect customer behavior and that this can help, for example, in learning how to set your limits. He also sees Isabu grow through interactions with horses.
Roy contacted Isabeau’s mother when the coronavirus broke out. Due to the lockdown, the young woman was unable to go to her daytime activities. Roy sitters and they did all kinds of things together. Daytime activities started again as Corona rules were relaxed, but soon Isabeau’s mother knocked on Roy’s door again: she missed her daughter’s one-on-one guidance.
For Roy, that was the start of his own company: SamenMaatjes. He wants to guide people with disabilities and help them be part of the community, and have their voice heard. The part-time student has always wanted to be an entrepreneur. “At first I studied a technical education, but it did not match my interests. Then I studied to become a junior account manager, because entrepreneurship seemed a little to me. I missed the social part of this training, which is why I still choose social work.”
The importance of personal attention
The student came up with an idea for his own company during an internship at a large healthcare institution. “I have supervised a group of clients with disabilities. I found it really hard to pay attention to everyone, because you have so many people under your care. While I think you should be able to listen to people to help them grow. I just can’t do it there.” According to Roy, personalization is key to SamenMaatjes: “I talk to my clients: what do they want to learn? from where we start? With Isabeau I’m with horses, but if someone wanted to become a baker, I’d talk to a bakery to discuss the possibilities. “
His goal: to make customers more independent. “You can see daytime activities as a way to keep people with disabilities occupied, but if you listen to them and help them with what they find difficult, you see them grow!” Roy sees this happen with his own eyes in Isabeau. From the care stable they go into the neighborhood with Shetland Lars and sometimes a Kiwi parrot to squeeze the trash. Lars carries garbage bags on his back and Isabeau leads the pony on a rope.
“Lars is very stubborn,” Roy says. “You have to be strong enough to walk with him or he’ll stick his nose into every tuft of grass we come across.” Note that dealing with a Shetland dog teaches Isabeau to set boundaries. “If you’re not clear, Lars pushes you aside. Isabeau stands up for herself more. She better makes her own decisions. The stable clients approach her. She feels heard. You can see it in her daily life. People no longer talk about her in front of her.” , but with her.”
Eventually, Roy hopes to be able to direct more clients from his own company in addition to Isabeau. He is now working hard to set everything up properly. “There is a lot involved, like having your own website. Samenmaats.com will launch on May 18, and I am looking forward to that.”
Over time, he even wants to create a compact living environment for people with disabilities. But his ambitions do not stop at Samin Mottajes. Last year, he entered municipal politics and began working as a supporter of the political group with an emphasis on the inclusive community.
“I want to connect social work with politics. It amazes me that local politicians are often in the picture in the months leading up to elections, but every now and then you don’t see or hear anything.” To improve the relationship between politicians and citizens, he created “Politics in Movement”. Politicians will serve coffee at the nursing home, provide neighborhood support and personally invite residents to meetings. Take off your jackets and talk from person to person, then voters will feel heard! “
“Cool,” Roy thinks he’s his own boss and can do business. looks around. “I enjoy being outside, surrounded by animals and people and can practically work. What else do you want?” He can recommend every student to start a business: “Dreams are there to be chased, and the younger you are, the more you can do. What can go wrong? At worst, I learned a lot.”