Small villages are dull, aging and becoming less relevant by the day. Ilse Duursma wants to get rid of these kinds of prejudices as soon as possible. As chair of the Overijssel Association of Powerful Cores, she notices that the opposite is true. “There is actually a lot of liveliness.”
If you were to believe the reports, things would go very badly in the Overijssel villages and hamlets. After all, banks, churches or ATMs seem to disappear from the streets everywhere. OVKK chairman Duursma does not agree and sees the bright side.
‘take advantage of’
According to Duursma, the OVKK is an association that advises the villages and hamlets and points out what is possible. “For example, if something is going very well in core A, we point it out to the people in core B. They can then benefit from it.”
The OVKK chairman thinks that the association does matter. “Recently we had a webinar with eighty participants. It was about housing construction, a very important topic for small cores. And a small core can do something very well in this. Ensuring that enough is built for the elderly or starters.”
‘It is indeed alive’
The advantage of that session was that it was all recorded. “And then you notice that things are often looked back on. So it is indeed alive”, is Duursma’s conviction.
Members of the OVKK are mainly organizations such as Kulturhuzen and village councils. “The contribution is not much. We are mainly financed by the province, with which we have a lot of contact, just like with the Overijssel municipalities.”
According to Duursma, a supermarket that is run by volunteers from the village itself, as has been happening in Lettele for over a year now, is a good example of how things can go. “That is extremely good for social cohesion. And of course a school sometimes has to close, or churches close, but there is so much that goes well. Look at Agelo, a small hamlet in my own municipality of Dinkelland. just a primary school. And Agelo is really small!”