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‘Youth for Christ to republish vacancies’

14 January 2009 – Youth for Christ (YfC) seems to be backing down in the controversy over youth workers in de Baarsjes. There will be a new vacancy, this time not exclusively aiming at a Christian audience. This seems to be good news for District Mayor Arco Verburg.

This week, it became clear that YfC has been targeting exclusively Christians in its recruitment of youth workers. The organisation was sharply criticised by the district council, which had earlier questioned the choice for YfC and had insisted on youth workers being a reflection of the local population.

In het Parool, a YfC spokesperson yesterday said that the vacancies will not be republished, but yesterday night, television station AT5 reported that there will be a new advertisement next Saturday (reportedly in het Parool). It is unclear what the consequences will be for people who have already responded to the job openings.

District Mayor Arco Verburg was given a ‘yellow card’ by city alderman Freek Ossel in last night’s AT5 programme. If the vacancies are republished, then this may take the sting out of the criticism expressed by his own PvdA. Coalition partner VVD has in the past supported the choice of YfC and is currently not committing itself.

Opposition parties GroenLinks and D66 will probably be more critical. Earlier this week, Coos Hoebe (GroenLinks) said that as far as he is concerned, Verbug’s position is at stake, even if the selection procedure is adapted.

Shanta Singh (D66) yesterday said that her confidence in Verburg has received a ‘serious blow’. “I’m concerned about his role in the implementation of the youth work”.

In her view, it must become clear what has gone wrong: has the district failed to make clear stipulations, or has YfC violated the agreement with the district? In the first case, Verburg has a problem. In the second case, it must be publicly announced that YfC was at fault, D66 argues.

Neither the district nor YfC were available for comment this morning.


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