A shop and activity centre using the community currency, the Makkie, has been opened in the Makassarsquare district of Amsterdam. The centre is highlighting the range of community currency projects that are being undertaken in the city under the European Union Interreg IV project, Community Currencies in Action (CCIA)*.
Donated by the local housing authority, the centre offers a space for members of the community to run any activity or service they wish – providing they either accept or give Makkies as payment. The first service to be offered is
hairdressing at one Makkie per haircut.
The centre also has a shop selling donated goods in exchange for Makkies.
The Makkie is a time-based currency that seeks to empower local citizens, improve their quality of life and increase
community cohesion. Citizens can participate in many different community projects, earning one Makkie for each hour of their time.
More than 250 community projects, many using Makkies, have been set up the local area. These projects include community care and advocacy groups, a local art project, community gardens and the Dutch National Philharmonic Orchestra, which offers music classes and performance tickets in exchange for Makkies. Service and goods providers are free to decide how many Makkies to charge.
Said a project partner:
“It’s very easy to get people inside the centre – everyone needs a haircut. Then I explain the whole Makkie project and tell them how they can get involved. The Makkie is a very useful tool for running community and voluntary projects, as it encourages people to participate and it recognises the value of their time and skills.”
Said a scheme user:
“I’ve earned four Makkies so far from hairdressing. I spent them on swimming and skating, which I would not have been able to afford otherwise.”
* CCIA is a transnational partnership project designing, developing and implementing community currencies across
northwest Europe. The partnership provides a rigorously tested package of support structures to facilitate the
development of currency initiatives across NWE, promoting them as credible policy vehicles. Find out more:
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