Dutch prime minister opens clothing store managed by young offenders

Prime Minister Mark Rutte opened Saturday, March 2nd, Harbour Kidz, a new children's clothing store in the Reitdiep district in Groningen where Wilster part of the youth correctional “Poortje” is located.

During the opening Mark Rutte spoke about the expectation that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) is soon on the rise again and about the cooperation between Poortje en the children’s clothing store.

Cooperation Wilster and SME

Five young people from Wilster took care of the catering during the opening event of the children's clothing company Kidz Harbour. On a structural basis Harbour Kidz is willing to offer work experience for the youngsters of Wilster as a part of their education they follow at Portalis, the internal school of “Poortje”.

Work experience places and selling homemade items

The young people can work in the shop and in the summer they can gain experience in the catering when the store opens its terrace. Items made ​​by young people themselves, for instance artwork, are also sold in the shop.

The integration of Poortje with the district

Besides Harbour Kidz Poortje also works together with the harbor office and the environmental department of the Municipality of Groningen. Together with young people from Wilster these parties form the “Port Team” of the Reitdiep district. The “Port Team” maintains the Reitdiep Port by removing litter and by cleaning the scaffolding.

“Poortje” appreciates the cooperation with Harbour Kidz and the municipality of Groningen very much. They are proud of it. Both are examples of cooperation in the field of employment support and integration into the Reitdiep district. 

Minke Kloppenburg