My journey of creating impact started more than ten years ago.
At that time I was building a NGO in Banga Bakundu, rural Cameroon. I got to work with dr. Sammy Oben, an inspiring surgeon with a passion for the health of his people. Day and night he relentlessly battled to keep disease at bay. This did not prevent me from seeing that body being rolled down the corridor covered by a white sheet from head to toe.
A moment later I noticed the nurse washing the scalpels and other tools in a bucket with dirtied water. I remembered the remark of dr. Oben about the lack of clean tools, which lead to infection, and sometimes death as a result. Unnecessary, oftentimes.
All they needed was clean running water.
This is the story that most struck me:
Resources are plenty, yet not always rightly allocated.
And I know that the solutions can be crazy simple, oftentimes.
As soon as I got back home in the Netherlands I started raising funds in order to set up a school. Within three years a new school was built by a local partner, with sixteen classrooms, educating four hundred eighty children at a time. And Banga Bakundu got their very own water well. The future looks a little brighter.
From that moment on I started living and working with one main focus: to connect local initiatives, investors, governments and social institutions to various social challenges for lasting impact.
I see solutions, everywhere. Wherever I go I relentlessly strive for improvement and understanding of how things work. And I know I can't do it alone. I don't want to do it alone.
Doing things together is at the heart of my work, and of my life.
For an overview of projects I've been involved with, click here.