New on the ground in Bolivia

Every two months we get to chat to the team on the ground in Bolivia about how things are going. Last month was more busy than usual as a new National Director joined our beneficiary project team at Performing Life. So in her own words, Marye Dijkstra, tells us a bit about herself.

My name is Marye Dijkstra and I am from The Netherlands. From an early age I have always had a natural instinct to help other people, especially children, but above all: whole family systems. Offering disadvantaged families in less fortunate situations the opportunities to further their aspirations, goals and expectations of life. I believe it is a challenge to make people stronger and teach them to discover their own strengths and talents to change their own present and future.

In 2010 I worked for 3 months as a volunteer in a day-care center for children with special needs in Cochabamba, Bolivia. I was immediately excited about Bolivia with its authentic and special culture, nature and population. I graduated with my Master’s in pedagogical sciences in the Netherlands in 2011. After graduating, I returned to Bolivia for 1.5 years to volunteer again, this time with orphans.

Unfortunately I couldn’t volunteer forever, so I returned to The Netherlands to work two years with young adults who suffered from mental disabilities and conduct problems, but still with the plan to live in Bolivia in the future again. Then, at the end of last year, I was really happy to discover this project had a vacancy. I read a lot about the organization and I was directly feeling morally connected to their mission and goals. I love that we have a fun and cheerful method to achieve a serious purpose. I think it is exactly the right method to reach children, their families and communities. The organization has different, complementary, programs to achieve a better future for people who really need it. So, I am really lucky to be able to say that since mid-February I am working as the new National Director.

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