Annual report ‘Toe to Heart Nederland 2018’
- Objectives Toe to Heart Nederland
‘Stichting Toe to Heart Nederland’ was founded on August 24, 2006 in Amsterdam to support Toe to Heart Trust Bangalore in India, founded on August 8, 2004.
Toe to Heart offers opportunities to children residing in an underprivileged neighbourhood in Bangalore India, by providing them the necessary social, human and physical capital each human being needs. From this vision Toe to Heart aims to pay the school fees and related costs for books, uniforms and after-school care from a study fund. The daily after-school care and personal guidance takes place at the premises of the founders of Toe to Heart, Thomas and Lalitha van Berckel. They have created a special place at their residence, which is called the ‘Dutch Roof’.
- Board members
The board of the Foundation ‘ Toe to Heart Nederland’ consisted in 2018 of:
– Bea van Els, president
– Ans Heesterbeek, secretary
– Astrid Groenewegen, treasurer
– Hannie van Haaren, member
– Renée van den Berg, member
Member of the board Hannie van Haaren visited Bangalore and Toe to Heart and “The Dutch Roof” during a private trip in January 2018. She had been a volunteer at Toe to Heart for years. It was great for her and for the children, who call her “Auntie Hannie”, to see each other again.
- Developments in the Netherlands, India and with Toe to Heart
For Toe to Heart 2018 was a year of consolidation – no big or shocking changes. In October Toe to Heart in Bangalore as well as in The Netherlands commemorated Nandhita, who died in 2016. Thomas is planning to create a monument in memory of this young girl and is thinking of a butterfly in some form.
The economical upgrade of the district in which Thomas and Lalitha live, and thus where The Dutch Roof is situated, did not cause any Toe to Heart-children dropping out of afterschool meetings on the Dutch Roof. However a minor decrease in participation frequency was registered, but that was to be expected. Some of the families unfortunately had to move to another part of town and that resulted in increased travelling times.
- Activities report
In 2018 a big effort was again required to be able to give the children the needed financial support and personal guidance. That personal guidance is where possible offered by Thomas and Lalitha in Bangalore. In parallel to that the board in the Netherlands tries to give occasionally “attention signals” to the children: a personal card for all the children when the school year finishes, small presents when Thomas travels back to his family and the ‘Toe to Heart-children’, a Christmas Card from the Netherlands, etc. We also try to let the children know that we are thinking of them by asking them to send us their drawings and stories. These personal contributions of the children find their way to the donor who sponsors them and are sometimes placed in the newsletters. This year the children of Toe to Heart constructed little Divali lights and paper cuttings which Hannie was able to take with her to The Netherlands. It is a nice way to keep in touch with each other.
In 2018 we again published two newsletters; one in the summer and one around Christmas.
With respect to fundraising, many letters with requests have been sent. Sometimes this resulted in a donation, for example of a charity that has supported us financially earlier.
Also a variety of activities have been undertaken in which people who want to support Toe to Heart participated to raise funds. In the summer there was a linedance-class, in September a sponsored cycle tour (in which Thomas because of his coincidental stay in the Netherlands could participate) and in December a bridge drive. Nice activities, which also brought in money.
Toe to Heart is also still (without costs) associated to the organization ‘Sponsorkliks’, through which everybody who buys through Internet donates a small amount of money-again without costs- to Toe to Heart. ‘Sponsorkliks’ offers by the way a broader and broader package; even an online payment for a health insurance premium through ‘Sponsorkliks’ can be beneficial for Toe to Heart .
In 2016 it was agreed that potential India based donors will be more actively approached by Toe to Heart India, and the Dutch Community in Bangalore should not be forgotten. This constitutes a task for Thomas who has to initiate these activities. This is however a time-consuming activity which is hard to combine with Thomas’ increasing personal workload. In this perspective a Dutch volunteer, Remco Vermeulen, from that Dutch community came to meet the children regularly and also gave many gifts to them. Because of his departure from India this could unfortunately not continue.
The TTH-website (www.toetoheart.org) meets our expectations and due to changing privacy laws in the Netherlands and in 2019 the board needed pay attention to required changes. In parallel Thomas is also occasionally active on Facebook.
In 2018 the board of ‘Toe to Heart Nederland’ has met 4 times.
Also the presence of Thomas in the Netherlands in December 2018 offered the opportunity for personal discussions between the boards of TTH-India (Thomas van Berckel) and TTH-Nederland (Bea van Els, Renée van den Berg and Astrid Groenewegen). The meeting took place on January 4, 2019.
- Toe to Heart children
All children have successfully completed their educational year and will all progress to the next level. The current group consist per 31 December 2019 of Monica, Sweety, Raj, Suman, Thirtamalai, Vasundhara, Manasa, Sulókshona, Sandhya and Emmanuel. Two of the above-mentioned children are expected to successfully complete their education in the coming year.
With respect to the youngsters who no longer receive the financial support from Toe to Heart because they completed their education, there is regular contact with some of them. Most of them have found work, some of them work and attend (evening) courses. For all of them the foundation for a brighter future has been provided; it is up to the children themselves to put all this to full use. All the efforts from Lalitha, Thomas, the Stichting Toe to Heart, contributors and last but not least the children themselves: everybody contributed to the end result and can be rightfully proud on his/her contribution.
- Financial Report
Toe to Heart finds itself at the end of 2018 in a healthy financial position, due to a number of regular contributors and a number of child-linked contributors. The Toe to Heart board has indicated to Thomas and Lalitha that financial means are in place in 2019 for an additional child to support.
To ensure the long-term continuity of education and social security network Toe to Heart strives for continuity in the financial support structures and we know we can count on a number of contributors and financial donations to make this happen. It speaks for itself that there are still children for whom this is not a given and for who continued growth of the contributors network or incidental contributions are still necessary.
For the complete financial report 2018 we refer to our 2018 yearly account on our website.
Bea van Els, voorzitter
22 January 2019