The (accidental) start

Ready to roll up her sleeves, on her way to Mumbai.

It’s 2010. By then, founder Laurien had already been supporting 10 street children financially for 5 years. She had met these children during her expat stint at ABN AMRO Bank in Mumbai, India. Back in Amsterdam, and as the years passed by, she started feeling an increasingly strong need to structurally help more street children. How? She had no idea. She googled: NGO, Mumbai, street children. She scribbled down three names of local projects on a piece of paper and went to Mumbai. Ready to roll up her sleeves.

Children laughing at camera

One single powerful question: ‘What is it that you need?’

During this stay she came across the Pardeshi community. Eight hundred people living on the street in the middle of the red light district. On a 150-meter stretch of pavement surrounded by danger. These people didn’t have access to water or sanitary facilities. They had continuous exposure to disease, abuse and hunger. For the Pardeshi’s there was no tomorrow. No dreams of a future. No self-confidence. Very limited knowledge about life skills.

Suddenly, with all this happening in front of her, the whole concept of poverty, became tangible and personal. Something you could actually  act upon. Laurien sat down with  the community and asked one single, powerful question: What is it that you need?

Fundamental change starts at a human level.

Listening to their stories led to a realization: Better futures are built on hope. And hope, when planted in the mind of a child, has the potential to grow into something invaluable: the belief that tomorrow could be different and that you can actively contribute to the course of your life.

We are all just walking each other
home.

– Ram Dass