For War Child, I have made many documentaries and met many war children. Children who unwillingly end up in war. I am touched by it every time. Feel powerless at times. But despite the sadness I can sometimes feel, I am very grateful that I know this and can do something. Because of this "knowing," I am willing to do something, in my way, small or big, it doesn't matter. I am willing, deep down in my soul, to make a little difference for at least one child. And I see that it can be done. I see that War Child is doing this. Out of love and great faith that these children are always worth fighting for, to bring them back to a world where trust and safety play a role. By bringing them together with other children who need to learn to trust each other again, to play together again, to laugh and have fun together again. Over and over again I see how War Child gives these children back the confidence that there is a future for them too. And to be able to witness that and to be able to contribute a little bit to it, is a huge honor. I wrote an article about this in a magazine describing my experience. Click on the picture below to read it.
I have been working for War Child Netherlands since 1996 and have made just about every documentary as director and producer. Also many informational films and campaigns. And reportages for Marco Borsato's concerts in which he always made space to spread awareness for War Child.
One of my last trips for War Child was with Michaela de Prince. Soloist with the National Ballet in Amsterdam and Ambassadress for War Child, she applied herself to War Child and really wanted to do something for War Child. I got to accompany her as a director on her very first trip to Uganda and thus to the continent of Africa which was an exciting journey because Michaela herself is a war child born in Sierra Leone. She never returned to Sierra Leone or the continent of Africa after the age of 4, after she was adopted. That's why this trip was special, vulnerable, and exciting. We visited one of the very largest refugee camps where there are lots of children, who are fleeing war. Michaela went to meet these children which I found incredibly brave because with that she also had to face another part of her own history in which war, murder, destruction, bombings, and refugees were part of her life. Until she was adopted by an American couple. And much later became a famous ballerina.