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Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam returns to its philanthropic roots

17 February 2022
Everyone is familiar with the green tins that were used to save money to finance VU. Since 1968, however, there has not been any active fundraising for the university. With the establishment of VUfonds, VU is returning to its philanthropic roots. The VUfonds highlights projects that can use additional funding to realize the scientists' ambitions. The first two projects the fund is focusing on are a study of childhood obesity and a study of fall prevention in the elderly.

Better care for obese children

About 450,000 children in the Netherlands are overweight, about 75,000 of whom are obese or severely obese. Health scientist Jutka Halberstadt and her team, together with other scientists and municipalities, have developed a method by which care providers can better support obese children. This takes into account a child's specific living conditions, which make healthy eating and exercise more difficult.

In this video, Halberstadt talks about her research and her ambitions for a broader approach for childhood obesity: "Look beyond eating and losing weight"

Promoting active and healthy ageing

Eén One in three older people over the age of 65 fall at least once a year, often with serious consequences. With the growth of the elderly population, the pressure on the health care system will increase as well. Professor of Movement Sciences Mirjam Pijnappels and her team are researching the effects of ageing on balance, stamina and the quality of daily movements.

In this video, Pijnappels explains what this research means for promoting active and healthy ageing: "We use sensors to research older people’s movements and how they believe they move themselves."

Spotlight on VUfonds' projects in national fundraising campaign

From February 21 through March 25, VU Amsterdam will present these two projects in a joint fundraising campaign of Dutch universities. The campaign aims to bring the importance of scientific research to the attention of a broad public through the national media and asks people to contribute to it.

Read more about the projects and the national campaign (in Dutch)