Sil: " I love walking great long distances.
Unfortunately this is not possible for me anymore. For two / three years I have problems with one of my legs and walking is getting quite difficult. I've been driving with a hand-bike (using arm-muscles) for a few months now, because normal bike-riding is also no option.
Actually I'm not such a cyclist. Now this became a big part of my mobility I would love to start enjoying it in the same way as I did walking.
Thus, I'm going on this great adventure not only for Roses for Children but also to challenge myself. I'm so happy to have my daughter with me and together we will tackle all the problems that get on our way!
The Children in the Netherlands.
Are things going well with them or aren't they?
As a country, we've fallen to 15th place on the Kids Rights Index. Two years ago we were in 2nd place. This is not surprising, because many social tasks have been transferred to the municipal services. The municipalities were not ready for this and were not prepared for it in terms of knowledge and finance. There are many problems and too little attention to work on specific solutions, which has made it possible for a large number of children to end up between two stools. For some of the children who need care, it is not going well.
Children, on the other hand, are very creative in looking for and finding solutions. And I beleave that we as adults can learn a lot from this. As Emke says in the video:"stop crying and continue to play".
Our project raises the question; Are the children in Portugal happier than in the Netherlands? Probably that is not the case and not something we would like to emphasis. But we do find it very interesting that Portugal is doing a lot for there children with little resources.
Nina and I are driving all the way to Portugal to exchange views, because we have a strong believe that there is something to learn or gain from this. In Lisbon we will visit the minister of child-affairs together with the Dutch ambassador and ask them with the same curiosity as a child why they became first.
This journey is therefore about challenges. For me, as a disabled person, for a country, to look creatively, for the child, who sees positive challenges in everything."
Nina: "This project was born out of the fact that last year my mother was told that she is no longer allowed to travel with
her physical conditions. As a daughter I saw what this did with her spirit: to stay at home and increasingly say no to projects and things that are important to her. By inviting her for a adventure together with her new hand-bike I wanted to empower her. It
wouldn't be Sil if she didn't immediately brought the proposal to a larger plan and connects it with Roses for Children.
We started to think about what our journey could mean for other people and how we could inspire others on a larger scale with our plan. Both of us were rather disappointed when the new Kidsrights-Index was released last May. We had expected that a prosperous country like the Netherlands would have a leading position on this Index. With our ambitious and playful plan we hope to open up the topic of children and there rights and talk about what is really important. These conversations shouldn't only be about how other countries can do better, but we should also look at ourselves and our own environment. And so our naive plan turned into an awareness project: how can you turn a difficulty into an opportunity?
Roses for Children became a logical part in this growing idea.
This small but influential foundation is largely supported by my mother and her sister, also financially. The physical condition of both ladies is a serious threat to the foundation's survival. Ageing also plays a role in this. Through the sponsorship of our Roses on Wheels project, I hope that the foundation, which is doing a splendid job, will be given the boost it needs. Therefor keep the contact between the countries alive and possibly relinquish the work that the sisters themselves cannot do."