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As the month of August has come to an end, we reflect on our activities of the past month.

Here’s a summary of our initiatives:

  • Rolling Aid event in Wierden
  • We moved into our new office space
  • Dam tot Dam loop: A fun way to raise funds as a team
  • People for People joins an initiative for the homeless 
  • Founders attend Lustrum Charity Gala Prinses Máxima Centrum
  • Rapid Response Morocco earthquake
  • What’s up and coming for People for People

Rolling Aid event in Wierden 🚚

On the 1st of September, the People for People Team and volunteers set up a Rolling Aid Event at the Wierden COA location for over 50 unaccompanied minors. While many such locations are temporary, Wierden will remain open for the next 3 years and is located on a historic farm, surrounded by nature and horses. Our goal was to connect the boys to the local community.

Making art projects with residents of Wierden asylum reception center
People for People: Playing table tennis at the Rolling Aid event in Wierden asylum reception center

We were grateful that Effekt’74, a local table tennis club, joined our event, bringing extra tables and enthusiasm. Erik even spotted talent among the boys and welcomed them to join the club in Wierden. Sport bij Aram. from Stichting Life Goals Nederland also returned, bringing kickboxing equipment, a highlight for the boys. From sports clubs to local cultural clubs, it was fantastic to see so many members of the community coming together and planning for the future.

Playing chess at Wierden asylum reception center
Fun and games at Wierden

As the day concluded, we gathered the boys to give them goodie bags filled with essential items and shared a moment of music and thanks. The boys were all smiles, radiating positivity. With the location open for at least 3 years, we donated 10 laptops for an open learning centre, hoping to help them achieve their dreams.

People for People team at Wierden asylum reception center

We moved to our new office space

We want to send the team at Picnic a special shoutout for their unparalleled support and generosity! 🙌 

Their belief in our mission to assist people of all nationalities in a crisis or conflict throughout the Netherlands and abroad. With this new space, we can continue to make a positive impact and empower those in need.

Rolling Aid van at our new location Picnic HQ

We also want to express our deepest thanks to UseSpace, a platform that strives for the optimal use of unused spaces, for helping us find our new warehouse at Europlaza. Last but certainly not least, a huge thank you to a.s.r. real estate for storing all the donations and essential supplies that will make such a huge impact on the lives of those in need! 🙏

The People for People team and van in front of our new warehouse

After organising the transport and so many donations to our new warehouse, we were so thankful to have had help from our volunteers over the last few weeks. From packing pallets, sorting through hundreds of pairs of shoes and expertly driving pallet jacks, we were able to move more than 40 pallets to our new warehouse in one day! 🚚

Dam tot Dam loop: A fun way to raise money as a team for a great cause

A team made up of runners from Message Bird, Picnic, and our own volunteers participated in the 16km Dam tot Damloop! 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

“It was so amazing to see that people from different, companies and backgrounds all came together to run for a good cause. After everyone put their red shirts on, we became united. While running, I saw some people struggling. Although they didn’t know each other, fellow team members started picking each other up, cheering each other on and running alongside each other. This for me is really the meaning of People for People, helping each other in hard times, regardless of your background, religion, gender, etc. At the finish line, everyone then came together to celebrate,” said People for People Director Marcella Simons. 

People for People ready for the Dam tot Dam loop

Thanks to these amazing runners, we raised 2500 euros via our funding page which will be used for upcoming Rolling Aid events. It was a huge success! 🌟🏅

We feel incredibly blessed to have a team of volunteers and partners around us who are constantly looking for ways that they can contribute to a safer and more stable society. Whether that’s running 16km or helping those locally who need a hand.

Running in the Dam tot Dam loop

People for People joined a special initiative for the homeless

The People for People team and volunteers donned red shirts for a cause close to home, Het Daklozen Feest. The devastating fact is that many asylum seekers who come to the Netherlands seeking safety and shelter end up homeless. This year’s theme “Look at Me” quite literally opens your eyes to what many homeless people experience on a daily basis. It’s human nature to want to see and be seen, and that is exactly what our intention was.❤️

The People for People team at Het Daklozen Feest

The team arrived to help hand out clothing with the idea being that people without a home, could pick a few items, including underwear and socks. The team helped people find the right sizes and chatted with them. It was a day when every corner of society was represented in one place, and came together to bring smiles, fun and joy to people who might normally feel “unseen”😊👕🧦

The founders came together at the Lustrum Charity Gala Prinses Máxima Centrum

The founders of People for People Joris Beckers (Picnic), Robert Vis (MessageBird), Ali Niknam (bunq) and People for People Director Marcella Simons, came together at the Lustrum Gala Prinses Maxima Centrum. It was great seeing each other again and reflecting on everything People for People has achieved so far, from rapid crisis response after the outbreak of the Ukrainian-Russian War and the earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and Morocco to the support given and connections made during the numerous Rolling Aid events that have taken place across the Netherlands. 

People for People founders at Lustrum Charity Gala Prinses Máxima Centrum

Rapid Response Morocco

On Friday, the 8th of September, a devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco with the epicenter in the rural area of the Atlas Mountains. It was the deadliest earthquake to hit the nation since 1960, with the death toll estimated to be around 3,000 and more than 300,000 affected.

Our team joined forces with Sheltersuit Foundation and Winning Wheels (Netherlands and Morocco) to provide humanitarian aid to affected areas, collaborating on donations, logistics, and operations.

Thanks to donations from Action, Intergamma and Hubo we were able to pack and ship over 20,000 relief supplies including sleeping bags, blankets, socks, thermal clothing, rain ponchos, heaters and flashlights within a week. Sheltersuit Foundation also provided 660 Shelterbags and Sheltersuits, which will give shelter and refuge from the elements. 

We established an active community of companies, through which we could utilize our collective networks to collaborate with local charities. Thanks to Deloitte, who made individuals with on-the-ground knowledge available to assist us with up-to-date information. 

Thanks to Winning Wheels Netherlands and Morocco, who took care of all the shipping logistics and connected us with local NGOs on the ground, we were able to deepen our impact with supplies being brought to the most affected villages across the Atlas Mountain region. 

In one day alone (Sept. 18) nine trucks arrived at the Winning Wheels Netherlands warehouse in Amsterdam. With a team of 18 people, we unloaded all the donations, including Sheltersuits, sleeping bags, thermal clothing, flashlights, mats, and blankets and loaded them back into the trucks headed for Morocco from early morning until late in the evening.

Upon seeing the magnitude of the donations, one of the Action drivers was moved to assist us in transporting the goods to Morocco, feeling the drive (quite literally) to make a difference. In less than 5 hours, the trip was approved by Action, and two drivers started on the long journey to Morocco.

Thanks to Transavia, which donated 5 airline tickets, a team from People for People and Sheltersuits was able to fly to Morocco and help distribute these supplies in Anerni and Oauwdid, two remote villages in a critical state. 

What’s up and coming for People for People

As the weather turns, people will need jackets and thermal clothing to keep them warm during the cold winter months. Several new locations for unaccompanied minors have also opened up and have already requested school bags, supplies and warm clothing for the children. We’re also planning a number of events for unaccompanied minors at shelter locations across the country.

Here are a few examples of some great new initiatives in the coming months:

  • A Rolling Aid event for unaccompanied minors in Ter Apel on November 4th

At the moment, the reception center is over capacity with a large amount of unaccompanied minors waiting to have their applications processed. Our plan is to bring much needed supplies and hold a Rolling Aid event where we can connect and make them feel welcome. 

  • Bringing surprises and joy for Sinterklaas 🧸

With Sinterklaas and Christmas around the corner, we’ve begun prepping some nice projects to bring surprises and joy to children staying in different reception centers across the Netherlands. Stay tuned to learn more about the initiative and how you can help.