The birth of an idea
A ray of light in the middle of a global crisis.
Inequality, extreme poverty, war, hunger, injustice… these are words that break our hearts. Sadly, these terrible afflictions of our societies are far from being a thing of the past. Today still, in every country around the globe, there are people fighting daily to provide for their families. Fighting daily to just survive. And sometimes, they are failing. This reality was made even clearer by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patricia Vermeer, the founder of Local Charities Worldwide, opened her eyes on the devastating impact of the health crisis during the 2020 spring lockdown, as she read a news article about the Sherpas in Nepal. Only one year before, in 2019, photos of a traffic jam on Mount Everest had gone viral. The images of the tourist mountaineers and their guides – the Sherpas – packed up in crowds near the peak of the famous mountain had shocked the world. In 2020 however, the international travel bans triggered by the pandemic completely reversed the trend. Mount Everest’s traffic was suddenly unrecognizably quiet, and the Sherpas were out of work. Sherpas are seasonal workers, who depend on the income that they get during the climbing season to live the rest of the year: such a drastic loss of activity was an utter blow to their livelihoods, and maybe even to their lives.
After reading this, Patricia immediately wanted to send some money to help the impoverished Sherpas and their families. She wanted her money to reach them as quickly as possible and therefore sought to make a direct donation. But, despite extensive online research, she could not find a trustworthy local organization to donate to. That is when she decided that something needed to be done about that.
"Local Charities are important. Those who give should be able to trust that their gift will help someone who truly needs it, and soon. That is why we exist. We want to facilitate direct giving to the small Charities on the ground, because they really are changing the world, every day, for so many people. "
A common vision
We are all different. What matters are the values we share.
Our co-founding team
Meet the fun volunteers at the origin of Local Charities Worldwide!
From: the Netherlands.
Favourite things: her vegetable garden, her cats, meditating, yoga and reading.
Loves volunteering, but also works as: project leader for solutions development in a public institution.
Causes she cares the most about: pet rescue & adoption / ending animal exploitation / promoting the zero-waste & vegan lifestyle.
Chair & Community
Patricia is our very sweet and caring founder, Chair of the board, and the main point of contact for Local Charities in Northern Europe, Oceania, Asia & Africa. She also runs our social media pages and organizes the online events we do to meet and connect with charities everywhere.
Communication & Web
Lucy is an inspired writer and an all-round creative soul. She wrote, designed and built our entire website as well as made our logo and illustrations. She also writes heartfelt content for every new charity’s profile, and is the main contact for the press & media worldwide.
Favourite things: writing and telling stories, mountains, food, dancing and bicycles.
Loves volunteering, but also works as: founder, copywriter & UX designer at Alunea, her own digital marketing & content agency.
Causes she cares the most about: keeping company to lonely elderly people / developing sustainable agriculture / planting trees.
Favourite things: playing guitar, forest walks, raising her three kids, and collecting pretty shells with them on the beach.
Loves volunteering, but also works as: full-time mum and co-founder of the Little Nature School where she teaches children about ecology.
Causes she cares the most about: caring for hungry or sick children / making education accessible to all.
Smiley and calm Patri has years of experience working in Human Rights, and many friends in the NGO sector. She is the main contact for Local Charities in Southern Europe, the Middle East & the Americas. She also sometimes creates for us inspiring videos and blog posts about charity work.
Manuel is a professional app developer and an active and positive person. He likes to find time to give back to the world between two sports sessions, and with us, he does that by maintaining our website’s security and by developing our very fancy charity map.
From: the Netherlands.
Favourite things: kitesurfing, travelling, reading and photography.
Loves volunteering, but also works as: a software engineer at a digital agency
Causes he cares the most about: