A year ago WUR student Tutku Yuksel and co-founder Elsje van de Weg opened city living room Thuis in the centre of Wageningen. It was intended to be a place that revolved around sharing: where people share their services, give things away or swap them.
Elsje van de Weg (left) and Tutku Yuksel in ‘their’ city living room Thuis.
Their plan has been successful, confirm the women on their project's first anniversary. 'We see it in action all the time, on both a big and a small scale. The premises were renovated by visitors. Coffee and tea is made my visitors, the cleaning gets done and flex desks are available. And a lot of knowledge is being shared,’ tells Elsje. But there is also scope for development, she adds. Thuis needs to become more of a community so that people know each other and can find one another here. ‘In future we want more activities take place away from Thuis and we are going to make entrepreneurship a priority.’
Much of the work of organizing activities at Thuis is done by students.
Every Sunday evening, for example, student association NSW holds a potluck dinner. ‘The idea is that everyone brings along something to eat and the food is shared. Already this group includes students, refugees, seniors and some regular visitors.’
For the future, the women have no shortage of plans. ‘A challenge certainly lies ahead in the area of communication; we want to publicize more clearly what Thuis does.’