Mission & vision & Strategy (Beleidsplan)

Origins and mission

In 2007, we learned about a program subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Xplore!) to stimulate young people to be more knowledgeable about developing countries and get more involved in social activities to create a better understanding of the existing problems and solutions.
The government offered a program to travel with students to experience closely how people in faraway countries tackled poverty and to see how resilient especially the young people there are while living under much harsher conditions than students in the Netherlands.
We heartily embraced the idea and are now preparing for the 13th exploration/journey. So far we have visited the Philippines (2x), Malawi (2x), Ghana (3x), Cambodia, Vietnam, South Africa, and Zimbabwe (2). We have focused on microfinance, child labor, the problem of girls not getting equal access to higher education, hunger eradication, safer transport to school, and Fairtrade. We have become increasingly interested in ‘Aid by Trade’ and are now usually working with companies founded with this goal as part of their mission.
Likewise, we want to teach our students that the future is theirs and that they can help make the world a better place for all of us.

Knowledge is a forceful weapon to shape the future. Not only your own but directly or indirectly also that of young people in the developing parts of the world. Our students, who take free health care and education for granted in the Netherlands, will realize this is not always true elsewhere.
We also believe it to be valuable for children in the developing world to learn that it is possible to achieve a better situation, for girls and boys alike.

During our stay in the countries we visit, an important part of the time is taken up by an exchange with peers at a high school. Before departing, students have already corresponded with their buddies. While visiting their buddies’ schools, they will attend lessons with them, teach about Dutch customs, play games together, meet the families, and go for walks to and from the school. They will become aware of the differences in lifestyle, and both sides will be in for surprises.
In the villages we visit, we also pay attention to local projects that aim to improve local circumstances, especially where healthcare and education are concerned.

After returning home, our students will share their stories with their classmates and other youngsters, thus spreading the news of the possible solutions they have encountered, and they will remain active ambassadors for years to come.

Financial background of BothSidesNow:

Our main source of income is from donations, fundraising through actions connected with the theme of the projects, specific contributions to the project by the participants, and financial contributions to the project by the volunteers facilitating the project.
All money raised through specific fundraising actions, hence earmarked, is donated for 90-100% to the benefit of that specific purpose within the project. E.g. if sponsor action is started for girl-friendly toilets in a secondary high school in Ghana (see photos and text) all that donated money will go to building these latrines. That money is not spent on the more general goals of the Foundation BothSidesNow e.g. students becoming more knowledgeable about developmental aid and its effects.
If, for whatever reason, that donation is impossible, a closely related goal for donation will be identified within the current theme or the theme of the next project.
As is specified in the Articles of Association of BothSidesNow (“De Statuten”) the board members receive no financial compensation for their activities on behalf of the foundation BothSidesNow.
Meetings of board members will be mostly online, so the foundation offers no travel compensation in any form.

In concrete: The plans for the coming years are to organize once or twice a project as described above, for 2025, the project(s) will be: "Food for Hope", 2025 Ghana: Hunger relief in the north of Ghana (see also fundraising and registration). 
The project(s) consist(s) of the classic components (see mission & vision & strategy ): participant recruitment (northern secondary schools) June 2024, selection of participants, theme development, preparation including actions leading to extra media attention and donations, the journey to Ghana (February and October 2025) and ambassadorship