Jolanda Vrinten, Advisor Daily Banking at Rabobank De Langstraat in Waalwijk
Our bank employs many people with a mission. They work hard for a better society and really know how to change things. For example, Jolanda Vrinten, a daily banking advisor in the banking hall in Waalwijk (Rabobank De Langstraat). For years she has been giving guest classes at vmbo to make students financially smarter.
“About 10 years ago, we saw that scammers were increasingly asking young children to give their PIN number or have their account used. At that time, Rabobank De Langstraat started a teaching program for first year students of secondary vocational education (vmbo). We teach the students, who are about 12 to 13 years old, to keep a close eye on their account and to check that there are no strange things happening. It is important to talk about fraud via app or email and warn about it, because children are not aware of the risks and consequences. This makes them very vulnerable.”
“I always start the lesson with a very simple example. You used to have bank robbers, but because there’s no longer any money at the bank, they don’t exist anymore. Nowadays, swindlers come up with other ways to steal your money. Then I ask who already has their own ATM card and if they know what to be on guard for. That ranges from simply protecting your PIN code when withdrawing money to not letting others use your account. We use videos and other materials to explain the dangers and the consequences. The best examples are the practical examples. They make the students really think about the problem. The start asking the right questions and telling stories about things that have happened to them.
Teaching is tough, but certainly worthwhile. The best thing about teaching is that it really helps the youth. The appreciation of the children, teachers and the schools themselves is very rewarding. It gives me a lot of energy. In the beginning we had to try really hard to visit the schools, but now they call us themselves to ask when we are coming back!”
Love and passion
“I’ve been working at the bank for 30 years now with love and passion. And the extra work you do, the cooperative work for the local community, that actually goes without saying. The cooperation must be in your blood, I think. People recognize me as an employee of the Rabobank and that’s how all kinds of things come our way. We can follow up on that with Rabobank, both commercially and through social initiatives”.
“The most beautiful initiatives actually arise naturally from the work you do for and with the community. After all, together we are stronger than on our own! In addition to the guest lectures, we are busy with other social initiatives. We are working on an interesting project for secondary schools in which we are discussing financial problems and debts. Because we have good contacts in the schools from our other projects, new projects take off easily.
We are very active in supporting local organizations and sports clubs. We have organized the Lichtjestafel, a Christmas dinner for lonely elderly people. During the corona crisis we decided to bring another delicious meal and some nice things, like a plant and a box of chocolates, to these elderly people, because they could use such a gesture at that time”.