Members doing good

In this article you’ll read about an example of one of our B. members doing good and offering their skills to a NGO.

Last week, our B. member Humancollective went to visit Guatemala, where the NGO Niños de Guatemala is located. They have a partnership together. Not only do they support them financially, they also offer their service for free in order to help the organisation grow. In their regular work, Humancollective focuses on talent development in teams by using Facet5, or on individual level.

Tanja from Humancollective: “Think about where your strength lies, and with that help somebody grow.”

Tell us about your partnership with Niños de Guatemala.

“We sponsor Niños de Guatemala, an organisation founded by brother and sister Marten and Annemiek Dresen and their best friend Sander Wirken. Michiel, my business partner, sponsors them already for years. Michiel and I started ‘Humancollective’ last year, and are working together since. The sponsoring we provide to Niños de Guatemala is partly financially, but more importantly free use of the personality questionnaire Facet5 and the time of Michiel and myself — with the team edition of Facet5, we help them build their teams, select new employees, and work together more effectively.”

“Last week we went for the second time to Guatemala to host the team sessions. We also went to the graduation of one stream schoolers (elementary school), which was amazing to visit. Niños de Guatemala consists of three schools in the area of Antigua Guatemala. They started with an elementary school with the idea that education would help to break the circle of poverty. On average, parents are uneducated and very poor, thus their kids also do not go to school either. They end up staying poor and uneducated. With help of sponsor money raised by Niños de Guatemala, kids can go to school. The parents are also getting involved as they focus on the whole community — parents are asked to cook meals at school, for example, so kids can consume good food to develop themselves well.”

“They’ve also established a high school so that kids can continue their education. Moreover, they’ve established a few enterprises, such as Good Hotel. It’s an incredible hotel where the kids can further develop their skills on the floor and get working experience. They started in Amsterdam, on an old prison boat that wasn’t being used anymore — they rebuilt the prison as a hotel. This boat was shipped to London a few years ago. A second Good Hotel is in Antigua, in a regular building. They are planning to open more Good Hotels in the coming years. They also have their own brand of coffee, offer tours for tourists, and have a language school — all of these initiatives are meant for students to get the work experience they need. In this way, everything is connected with each other.”

How did you get in touch with Niños de Guatemala?

“Marten Dresen was a manager at Dockwise, a former client of Michiel. Marten was active in the corporate sector before, and he saw a lot of poverty on his travels for work. He was touched by this and quit his job to focus on something different: doing good. Michiel and Marten stayed in touch, and Michiel kept following Marten and Niños de Guatemala. We realized we could offer something unique to the organisation and help them form better teams.

Do you focus only on the teams of Niños de Guatemala, or also on the NGOs affiliated with them?

“We focus on teams of the Good Hotel, Niños de Guatemala, and NewBees (an organisation founded by Annemiek Dresen, the sister of Marten). NewBees matches refugees to internships and jobs in an efficient way and provides coaching sessions to help with the job search process. They also scout for employers that want to give refugees a chance. To these three NGOs we offer our services for free. On our website, we communicate the separate stories of these NGOs and they state their experiences with us.

It was an amazing experience to visit Guatemala — it was great to see the proud parents during the graduation; to see the work Niños de Guatemala is doing in action. Our work in Guatemala embodies the vision we have for Human Collective: do good, have fun, and make money. We both really believe in those terms. It is very fulfilling to share a part of what you own with people who are less fortunate.”

If you can give a tip to the members of our community with regards to charity work, what would it be?

“First, think about where your strength lies, and with that help somebody grow. It’s way more fulfilling to not only sponsor money, but really support with your skills or product. In that way, you can better connect with the organization. Personally, I also donate money to charity, but I don’t know who is behind it and it is very anonymous. It is very interesting to sponsor an organization where you know some people, or where your product can really make a difference. It is beautiful to see that your product can help somebody else or another company grow.”

Is Niños de Guatemala looking for more help?

“Always! You can sponsor as a company, but also as an individual. You can become a ‘padrino’ of a child and pay for their education for 35€ a month. This covers their entire education, and the organisation can use corporate sponsor money for things like reconstructing the premises or investing in computers.” Please have a look at www.ninosdeguatemala.org.

Tanja Vlug is one of the founders of Humancollective, you can find their office on the second floor of the B.3 building.