Marc van der Meer
Volunteer, Father, and Social entrepeneur in Dortmund, Deutschland
"I want to change something"
My name is Marc van der Meer, 52, Dutch, dad of 2 teenager, I love cycling and live in Dortmund, Germany.
For two weeks, between Christmas and New Year 2015/16, I volunteered on the beaches of the Greek island Kos and met many international volunteers who gave up their jobs or, like me, took unpaid leave while paying from their own pocket for flights and accommodation. This to be able to help other people in need.
Because not everyone is wiling or able to pay to volunteering as I did, my plan is to start a non-profit international driven initiative, which honors those who are the backbone of society and who work with passion to help across the world: the volunteers.
The initiative will make it possible for anyone, young, old, student, employee or retired to travel anywhere in the world, in order to do a voluntary job for people in need while getting the travel- and overstay cost back.
I'm happy to announce that since the start of the project in May 2016 a Swiss CFO of one of the largest health insurance companies in Switzerland committed as shareholder. Further a nationwide team of 16 people e.g lawyer, accountant, strategy- and creative experts working for worldwide largest car-manufactures, entrepreneurs and web specialist also committed to help on voluntary bases.
The status of the project is, that we are working out the business model and after 3 strategic workshops with a team of 5 experts, we have the first results. Due to private donations of 8.000€ from almost 50 people we are going to support the first volunteers in Summer 2017. :)
This is a great step forward, despite of the fact that the fiscal authority in Dortmund holds to his bureaucratic thinking and has rejected the charity character of the initiative.
Now, after 9 months being stuck in the jungle of bureaucracy, it’s unacceptable for me that the idea permanently has been torn down by inflexible German authorities. But I promise, we don't give up and I keep fighting with my team to start this initiative as foundation or non-profit company in Germany. For that reason, we now check to start in e.g. Switzerland and The Netherlands.
In the meantime I ask for public help. If someone can help me getting in touch with German, Dutch and Swiss federal ministeries or any influential politicians I would be very grateful for that.
If you have any questions, please get in touch by sending me an email: