Welcome to our first Delft MaMa blog post of 2023. I can hardly believe it’s more than a year since I wrote the post Goodbye 2021, Hello 2022. Back then, COVID and lockdowns dominated our lives, and though it’s still here, I’m glad that in the last year, we’ve had many more opportunities to get together face to face with our community, as well as still making the most of the flexibility of connecting online.
Early on in 2022, I (Renee) took on the role of Chairperson of Delft MaMa. From February, I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes, along with our fabulous team of volunteers, to continue contributing to and growing our wonderful community.
Here’s a some highlights of 2022 to look back on, and a few things to look forward to in 2023.
During COVID lockdowns, our regular playgroup ground to a halt. However in early 2022, we greatly appreciated the offer from Kindergarden Delft Zuid to use their lovely location to meet. Adina joined us as a new volunteer and has been a regular friendly presence welcoming parents and little ones to play. We started out meeting every second Friday, and with Robyn and Claudia joining our team as playgroup hosts later in the year, we were able to extend this to (mostly) weekly.
In 2023, the Playgroup will continue (mostly) weekly. To keep up to date with the details (including any last minute cancellations), please join our email list here.
PARENTS NIGHT OUT
Our Mama’s Night Out has been popular each month for many years, and also had to stop during COVID. In 2022 we were excited to meet up regularly again. We renamed the evenings to “Parent’s Night Out” to ensure the papas also feel welcome to join. Thanks to Sandra for coordinating these, who will be taking 6 months or more off to welcome a little one to the world! Would you like to host or attend in 2023? Let us know.
HALLOWEEN & 15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY
The Delft MaMa Halloween Party has been a favourite with families for years. In 2022, we celebrated in style, again thanks to Kindergarden Delft Zuid for hosting us. With a craft corner, haunted house, costume parade, international food corner, and clothes/book swap it was a lot of fun. This also coincided with our 15 year anniversary! So we celebrated this with a gallery and asked our community to share their memories. We hope to host another Halloween party in 2023, let us know if you’d like to join the organising team.
In 2022 we tried to kick off an English language book club at the Delft Library. We had one great get together in October with local author NJ Simmonds. To continue in 2023, we need hosts, contact us for more info.
With thanks to Blog Coordinator, Vania, her team, and our contributors, our award winning blog continued to share quality information and stories with our community throughout 2022. You can scroll through our archives for past posts, or follow these quick links to all the articles published last year:
- Let’s talk about miscarriages
- Simple steps to make your life in Delft more sustainable
- Dutch architecture: a women’s matter
- Science and art to enjoy tulip time
- Taking a leap! Our family’s move to the Netherlands
- Living in The Hague
- Activities for children in Delft
- 5 ways to feel at home in Delft and the Netherlands
- Meet the chairperson of Delft MaMa
- Design and parenting: My sleepless postpartum nights with breast pumps
- Meet Delft MaMa’s blog coordinator
- Meet Delft MaMa’s SLiDe Coordinator
- Enjoy the fungi season and help the science!
- Meet Delft MaMas Outreach and partnership Coordinator
- Meet Delft MaMa’s Playgroup Coordinator
- Confidence for the Win!
Hellen and her team have worked hard to deliver regular Delft MaMa to your inbox. Due to a smaller team, this has become a little less regular, but still a popular source of information for our community. You can read all past issues here and sign up here.
For many years, our Facebook group has been a place for the Delft MaMa community to chat and connect. With 2.7k here, there is always someone to answer your questions. We were promoting (our own) events here in the past but have had some issues with this, hope to fix this soon. If you are a business, please remember promotions are only allowed on the 1st of each month under our special post, or contact us for advertising. We’d love a few members of our community to moderate this group, please get in touch if you’re interested.
VOLUNTEER HIGH TEA
In November, most of our team were able to get together to celebrate the end of the year with a high tea. A huge thank you to a donor, who wished to remain anonymous, for paying for this!
HOW CAN YOU contribute to our community in 2023?
To continue supporting international families into our 16th year and beyond, Delft MaMa relies on community contributions. We very much need both volunteers and donations to ensure we are able to operate our activities, and celebrate many more anniversaries to come! We are currently a small team operating mostly behind the scenes and could really do with some more help. Even just a few hours of your time, and/or a few euro’s donation can truly make a difference to us in 2023. Visit our collaborate page for more information.
Here are our 2023 priorities (in no particular order).
- Continue our Playgroup weekly and our Parents Night Out monthly – ask for/train more hosts and partner up with more locations who are happy to welcome international families.
- Host another great Halloween party (Oct), Volunteer High Tea (Nov) and run other events
- Begin a regular English & foreign language Storytime in partnership with DOK Delft Library
- Grow/strengthen our team of volunteers to ensure we can continue to provide great support & events. All of us juggle families/careers/personal life, so with a larger team, tasks can be spread out, we can learn from each other, and it’s more “gezellig”. Volunteering with us should be flexible and fun!
- Update/maintain our website & blog – make sure our 15 years of information are secure and backed up. Train team members to manage website, remove out of date information and add in new details.
- Hold regular meetings with the board (4x per year), coordinators (bi monthly) and teams (monthly) to continue to strategise, plan for and implement ways to sustainably support our community .
- Review/update our documentation and processes to comply as an official not-for-profit organisation.
- Keep our community updated with many great things to do in Delft (& surrounds) and find support, so we all feel at home here via our communication channels (Blog, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Enews, flyers), train (new) team members to engage with our community & post content more regularly.
- Ensure we are not just a diverse but inclusive community, for example explicitly welcome fathers as well as mothers & encourage local Dutch parents to be involved in our online and offline activities.
- Look into relaunching our SLiDe programme to pair up newcomers and those more at home here.
- Relaunch our workshops online and in person so we can learn from each other more regularly.
- Reconnect with previous and new partners who offer support, products and services to our community.
- Ask/apply for more regular donations/funding to pay our fixed expenses (such as bank fees, insurance, website hosting fees) to keep our not-for-profit sustainable & allow us to grow our support services.
- Apply for ANBI status, which would mean that donations to our not for profit are tax deductible.
- Connect with, team up with and learn from other parenting groups in the Netherlands.
- Ask our community what they want! Create surveys & check/respond regularly to email.
- Your ideas?
We’d love your feedback, and to have you contribute to make this all happen, please contact us. Is there something on this list above you can help with? Do you have other ideas? Let us know!
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2023 for the whole Delft MaMa community.