Marc van der Meer

Volunteer, Consultant, and Father in Dortmund, Deutschland

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"I want to change something"

My name is Marc van der Meer, 51, Dutch, dad of 2 teenager, I love cycling and live in 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 and non-commerce 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 while getting the travel- and overstay cost back.

It doesn't matter whether you're an Italian volunteer helping the homeless in San Francisco or a German helping repair bikes for the poor in South-Africa, a Canadian supporting the Wildlife project in Australia or a Dutch cleaning beaches in New Zealand.

The status of the project is that meanwhile a Swiss CFO of one of the largest health insurance companies in Switzerland committed as shareholder. 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. All these people help me to reach one goal: make the world a little bit better.

Other thinking is required for this innovative plan, also for the authorities and that's a real issue. One (!) officer of the fiscal authotity in Dortmund holds to his bureaucratic thinking - the charity character of the company is doubtful - and has rejected the company’s statue till today November 13, 2016 The result is, we still can’t start.

After 5 months being stuck in the jungle of bureaucracy, it’s unacceptable for me that the idea permanently has been torn down by inflexible authorities. But I keep fighting with my team. We even consider to start abroad in e.g. Switzerland, Holland, Canada or US.

In the meantime I ask for public help again. Not for donating money, but to help me getting in touch with the federal ministeries or any influential politicians e.g. Frans Timmermans vizepresiden of the EC.

I'm greatful for any help.

Thanks, Marc

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