Making Eindhoven more beautiful step by step for ten years now

In a little attic room in Woensel-West, Esther Hofstede started Samen voor Eindhoven (SvE) on July 26, 2012. Now the organization has an office at the High Tech Campus. The 10th anniversary was celebrated Thursday at GGzE estate the Grote Beek.

As a social entrepreneur, Hofstede saw an opportunity to link social organizations with large companies. Large companies like Philips, ASML and DAF wanted their employees to have the opportunity to "do good for the world around you. There was and is a growing need for volunteer support at community organizations.

Hofstede: "Over the past decade, nearly fifteen thousand corporate volunteers have already contributed their expertise, time, talent and hands to local charities. A fantastic number, but more important is the experience these volunteers get. When you step out of your bubble and thus come into contact with people you may not encounter every day, it is the enrichment for yourself, but more so for the people you help."

Taken 'on a journey'

During the anniversary celebration, guests were taken on a "journey. The 'journey' took them to six different organizations, with SvE employees serving as tour guides. The organizations introduced were Clothing workshop #Awesome, the Salvation Army's soup bike, Green Domain 't Wasven, Archipel, Brainport and 'Experience that stands'. Getting to know these organizations is exactly what SvE is so good at, namely providing connection and learning from each other.

"In the last ten years we have achieved a lot, but I think bigger: if we can change so many people, you can change the whole system. A world with more mutual understanding and respect, an eye for the other and less judgment. That is what I like to dedicate myself to," Hofstede says.

Ten years ago, SvE started with nothing, no employees, no grant and no mediated corporate volunteers yet. Since then, there are more than 100 partners and committed companies with corporate volunteers and cooperation with some 150 nonprofit organizations. There is also a team of 11 people working on a daily basis.

Hofstede: "We always have wishes and dreams for Eindhoven and its residents. Together we can make Eindhoven more beautiful step by step." Or, as one of the guests expressed, "SvE congratulations on your milestone, you connect Eindhoven and make Eindhoven, rather, more accessible and better."