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My name is Ivanilde. I was born in Brasil in the state of Pará along the river Uruara. This is situated deep in the jungle in the Prainha/Santarém region. Originally, I was also born as an underprivileged child.

My father died tragically at the age of 28 caused by a snake bite. It simply took too long to get to a hospital. At that time I only was 5 years old. I remember these first years of my life very well. I still remember that my father taught me religiously and due to his faith I am became convinced that there is a God, in one way or another. My mother remained with 4 children. I was so sad by what had happened, that even my mother thought I would not survive. With herbs (lemon tree leafs) she always kept me calm. It was a difficult period for all of us. My mother cried a lot and did not know how to cope with the situation. But in the end, I was a positive child and could console my mother. At that time, I already promised to help her in the future.

With some luck and the conviction that I had to find ways for possibilities to help my family, I left home at the age of 10 to the city of Prainha. I lived there with my aunt and helped her to make coal block and farinha (milled and roasted manioc root).

With the earned money I could pay school in Prainha. During the day I went to school until 12 o’clock, in the afternoon I helped my aunt. In the weekends I was baby-sitter for little children. My first cousin Telma stimulated the ideal that I had and when I was 12 years old, she brought me to Santarém to work as an au pair for some acquaintances. The education was better there and I had the opportunity to work.

At the age of 15, I moved to Belém to work again as an au pair and continue my education. Listed like this, it looks an easy way, but it really was not.

In Belém I learned to know a friend who had connections at a local radio network. She introduced me there and at once I had a job at a radio station. I became an interviewer for a music program. I went out on the streets to ask questions about music. Everything to recruit more and more listeners for the radio station. I went on like this until the age of 21. At that time, I got the opportunity to move to Europe through a friend who lived in the Netherlands.

The first time I landed in Amsterdam, I understood that this could be my future country. I attended a school in Amsterdam where I studied Dutch. By know, I can say that I have a good command of the language. Also becaus of that, I have developed myself in the Netherlands to the person that I am today. At the same time, the ideal from the past is still existent: to help my family and other local population groups such as the underprivileged children.

In 1997, I met John. He totally supports my plans. Together we can make this a success. During the years, I have met good and fantastic people who support my project. They help in every way they can to realize my ideals.


With kind regards,


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