TAJO: only those who get opportunities, can grab these

VGP Foundation is providing financial support to TAJO, which is the abbreviation for talent studio for young people. It is a non-profit initiative started in Ghent/Belgium with a clear purpose: Promoting a successful educational pathway for youngsters between the age of 10 and 14, with special attention for those kids who need it the most.

For youngsters of disadvantaged origin it is not always easy to have a successful school career. Scientific research confirms that children and young people who grow up in poor families have a much lower success rate concerning education. In secondary education, they have  not only a greater chance of reorientation from general education to extraordinary (specific) education, but they also are over-represented in the unqualified outflow ( premature drop-out) TAJO wants to make a significant contribution to the emancipation and integration of youngsters with a socially vulnerable background in Ghent. 

TAJO: Talent workshops for disadvantaged youngsters
TAJO: Talent workshops for disadvantaged youngsters

TAJO stands for “Talentatelier voor jongeren”  (transl. Talent workshops for youngsters) disadvantaged teens get the chance to look at what their professional future could be , so that they learn to better understand the importance of ‘ doing your best for later ‘ and thereby become more motivated to study and learn a profession TAJO seeks to guide several  hundred disadvantaged young people from 10 to 14 years living in Ghent in order:

  • to give them a perspective on their future
  • to support them in standing motivated, with selfknowledge, resilience and self-confidence in life
  • to facilitate integration in society by stimulating a positive self-image and developing social skills
  • to guard them from demotivation, school failure, delinquency, youth unemployment and radicalisation

TAJO organises “experimental learning” in a Saturday school from 11:00-14:30 in a three year cycle at a rate of 30 Saturdays per year. The programme comprises engaging workshops taught by professionals (= guest lecturers) from 15 disciplines (= themes) such as health care, law, journalism, media, entrepreneurship, science, sports, culture, ... These lecturers inform and motivate these young people from their own passion, in order to convince that ‘ doing their best now for later’ may well bring these professional goals within their reach. For school year 2019- 2020, we started with 45 disadvantaged youngsters out of 7 different primary schools of Sint-Amandsberg (region of Ghent). The aim is to increase the number of pupils to 300 in 2022 and to 500 in 2025.

A strong team of at the start

VZW TAJO was notarial founded on 2.07.2018. The Board of Directors is composed of: Luc De Bruyckere (President), Anne De Paepe ( Honorary Rector Ghent University), Johnny Thijs (Chairman Engie Belgium), Prof. Em. Erik De Lembre and Claudia van Egmond (Managing Director).