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Which path are you following? Or do you make your own tracks?

Since I am living in Botswana in the middle of nature, I walk every day on our farm. I always search for tracks because I am very curious which animals have passed by last night. I see and follow tracks of porcupines, deer, small cats, aardvarks…

For me these tracks are a metaphor for my personal path. When I look at my past, I mainly followed the tracks of someone else, such as a manager, an organization I worked for, a partner, a friend. When I think back to that time, it doesn’t feel very nice, especially because I now know how it feels like when I set the track myself or when I follow the track that is there especially for me; my call. And I can tell you, when you’re on that path it’s great and you feel like you’re flying.
Living or being in nature has brought me closer to myself. If you really listen to yourself, you know exactly which choice is right and what your call is. I am convinced that everyone has a call; everyone in her or his own way and in that there is no great or small call. With your call you contribute to others or the planet in a good way, of course.
In 2006, during my volunteer work in Peru with children in a slum in Lima, I first felt my call to ensure that every child has equal opportunities and can therefore lead an independent life. In that period in Peru, I was closer to nature than in the Netherlands and I mainly did what made me and still makes me very happy, teaching. That made me that I heard my call. Back in the Netherlands I came back to my ‘old’ life and so I stepped back into my old track and back into work and a busy social life. Fortunately, in the end, the call was stronger than the path I so easily stepped back into and in 2009 I set up StartUp4kids to respond to that call and I started spending almost all my free hours for that cause.
In the meantime, more than ten years later with a large volunteer organization, many vulnerable children that we reach in several countries, our team can be very proud of what we have achieved in all those extra hours. In 2018, we carefully took a first step to reach refugee mothers in the Netherlands, which is how the desire arose to involve parents much more and to help improve the quality of education.
Living in nature and listening to myself opens new paths and it is so beautiful that StartUp4Kids is there!
During the lockdown last year, it was mainly the care for our beautiful planet that called me and that it is necessary to give today’s children a future at all. From that year on, we have added this awarness to our projects.
I am following our project in Peru very closely this year. The consequences of corona seem to be the worst there. Stress at home, increase in domestic violence and poverty, grief due to the loss of relatives causes mental problems for children, families and teachers. Here too it calls… we have to do something about this. We wish and have to ensure a better mental health for these people in our project. We are happy to take the experience we gain with us to our other projects, because to our great sadness this care is needed everywhere. And I totally get it because what are the future prospects on a planet that if we continue to destroy it will no longer be a habitable planet? I’m 52 and don’t have to walk around here that long, but all those kids and people in the world who are all in my heart, do!
I am super happy because also in my professional life, I am continuing to follow my path to teach you how to (re)connect with nature and finding your path. The best is that I can do this together with my husband Peter Henssen. From our beautiful Phazama Farm (and if necessary also online) we help young people and adults to find their call.
Because, only together can we make the world a better place and to turn the chaos of today into something beautiful again. I am wondering on which path you are now.
Are you curious about your path or how to take the next step? Come and discover them through our programs!