Skip to main content

Campaign Right to education

From April to July 2015, Marieke Hopman together with the Alumni office of Tilburg University organised a crowdfunding campaign to fund her research on the child’s right to education in the Netherlands and the Central African Republic. Below you find all blogs and vlogs related to this campaign.

By Marieke Hopman - 22 December 2015

Dear all,

As some of you might know, tomorrow is my birthday and I turn 27. Now, some have asked what I would like for a present. I thought about it and I realized that, like most of you, I already have enough and much, much more. I mean, think about it; I have two extra mattresses for when people want to stay over, I have so many clothes I don't need to do laundry for about a month.. Whereas in my work I met children who sleep on the stone floor because there are no mattresses, whose clothes stink because they only have one pair which they peed in, etc. So what I wish most for my birthday is that anyone who has so much too, makes a small donation to my research project. The money empowers me to fight for the rights of those who do not have enough.

I will start with donating a small sum myself. You can also make a donation through this link (while it's active). Donations can be made anonymous.

Thank you so much!

By Marieke Hopman - 21 October 2015

My speech at the Night University: Why education for all children? Engage in a hypnosis of 4 min (NL/ENG)...

By Marieke Hopman - 10 July 2015

Dear all,

Over the last period we have worked hard on the campaign, with amazing results! Together we have collected ver € 20.000 by 169 donors. Hereby I would like to thank you for your support, and to tell you what's coming up next. See the videomessage below

By Marieke Hopman - 19 June 2015

Are you graduating soon? Do you realize what a luxury it has been that you have been able to follow education?
If you are graduating, please feel inspired by this heartwarming initiative by Miriam Hopman, who is soon graduating to become a doctor. In the invitation to her graduation party she wrote:

"For presents? Obviously no one has to bring a presents, I mainly enjoy your presence! However, imagine you do want to give something, I have an idea ..

Over the last 7 years I have been able to study in liberty and also the 13 years before that I had the opportunity to attend primary and highschool. This luxury has created the situation that now I can start working as a doctor and I have good future perspectives. I am therefore entirely greatful that with so much ease (and support by my parents) I have been able to follow this education. However, not everyone has access to education, for example because there is a war going on, but in the Netherlands too many children do not go to school...A talented and hardworking philosopher, Marieke Hopman, is doing research on the right to educaiton. To support her, I will collect money at my graduation party. Anyone who is willing can contribute to her research project!

Again, please do not feel forced to take part in this, but of course it would be great :) More information on the research can be found here (while the link is active). 

By Marieke Hopman - 19 June 2015

Dear all,

Starting today you can buy the campaign song "How many teardrops" in the iTunes store. This beautiful song costs only € 0,99. All profits go directly to the research on children's right to education.

Please buy & share the song!! Thank you so much!

By Marieke Hopman - 19 June 2015

Met the Dutch minister of education today and spoke to her about my research project. She was very interested but had little time. We exchanged contacts because she wants to hear more! To be continued...

By Marieke Hopman - 19 June 2015

  • € 8.505, or 43% funded -> who will get us to 50%?? Remember ANY donation is welcome, even € 5!
  • 70 donors
  • Website: 5.131 pageviews
  • Video: 1.365 views
  • News articles: 4 on paper, 9 online
  • Radio: 2 interviews (+1 next sunday)

Have you made a donation yet?

By Marieke Hopman - 16 June 2015

By Marieke Hopman - 23 January 2015

I have now started the fundraising for the PhD research! Exciting times. You can find more information on my Facebook or Twitter (@research_CRC / @marieke_hopman)

When moving house recently, I recovered a postcard that a friend sent to me in July 2013, during the lead-up to my first (field) research on children's rights. On the front of the card there is this poem by a Dutch poet, Remco Campert. Clearly, my friend knows me and my research well. 18 months further down the road I am still asking questions. I have, for the time being, finished a PHD proposal on children's rights, which has as its main question: "How can we understand the position of the child in the international legal community?". I think this is an extremely important question that can provide an impetus for social transformation.

In addition, starting a PHD project for me is a period of great insecurity. Days are filled with questions. Is the proposal good enough? Who do I want as supervisors, and do they want me as a student? Do I possess sufficient capacities to successfully research the subject on a high academic level? Will my articles get published? How do I find the financial means to even start the project?

Regarding the latter, financial issue, I  have decided to take a bold and unusual step, which is to try and finance the project (at least partly) through fundraising. It took me two weeks of Christmas holidays to decide to go on this adventure, that had been lingering in my mind ever since I did a small crowdfunding project to finance my previous research in 2013. I think fundraising for research that is socially relevant, is a great way to expand social commitment to and impact of the research. In my experience, this approach gets so many people involved in the process; academics and non-academics, young and old, students and professionals, NGOs and corporations... All this leading to greater societal impact in the end, as well as individual interest and support.

However, the approach is uncommon in present-day academia. Uncommon to say the least. In fact, it might very well be frowned upon by some academics. To not (solely) walk the traditional road of grant applications, leaves out the academic judgment involved in grant distribution. According to some, we cannot leave judgment of academic value up to the court of public opinion. This is probably a legitimate objection.

Yet this also triggers my resistance. With recent financial cutbacks, less academic research can receive grants. Therefore we HAVE to look for different means of supporting our work. Academic value can still be judged through peer-reviewed research articles. In addition, if some of the funding comes from civil society, publication in more popular media should increase in (academic) appreciation.

At times when I feel uncertain and scared about the whole project, which is pretty much my perpetual condition, I sometimes think of the words of Joseph Knecht in Herman Hesse’s “The Glass Bead Game” (1943), who argues that ‘we possess that limited freedom of decision and action which is the human prerogative and which makes world history the history of mankind’. According to Knecht we may therefore choose, in proportion to our understanding of events, in proportion to our alertness and our courage, to either close our eyes to danger and hope that it will not find us, or recollect that ‘we belong to world history and help to make it’.

Suppose through fundraising, one would be able to operate on two levels; at the level of civil society; politics, policy, and at the level of academic research; both using the same data. Would that not be a dream come true? Or should all people who do not receive a grant give up on their dream of doing academic research?

Thanks to Bavo Hopman and Kila van der Starre for (translating) the poem.