“Exchange Of A Different Kind” (Engl. version)


African saying:

“The egg is not aware of the wisdom of the chick”

As long as you’re in your own protected environment, you think you know who you are. The egg thinks he is a lot, makes jokes about the chick, but he can only afford this because he is still protected in the shell. Until he gets in the ‘ cold ‘, in a strange environment. Only then he meets himself /is faced with one’s limitations and possibilities.

It is my desire to help/inspire/motivate other people to make their dreams come true, regardless of the circumstances in which they are.

I would never have had this dream without experiencing a totally different culture several times myself first and learned a lot about myself. Also my conversations with several young people in various townships have contributed.
That is why I want to give these young adults also have this unique chance to stay temporarily in a totally different culture. We can talk about it, read about it, but the experience self usually brings the biggest change…. in yourself!
Experience is the best teacher !

I have also been inspired by other loved ones to make this dream come true, like the founders of IHC/Loek Knippels Academy, where I have followed my 4 years therapist training and my friends of NGO Isolabantu in South Africa. We share each others vision/mission and I am very grateful for our co-operation in this project !

With much love, Monique

In cooperation with:
Loek Knippels: Social pedagogue / founder IHC/Loek Knippels Academy (FR)
Peter-Jan In der Rieden: Educational / founder IHC/loek Knippels Academy (FR)
Email: knippelsrieden@het-ihc.nl
Website: www.loekknippelsacademie.nl

Janet Nhlapo (carer): Coordinator/fundraiser Isolabantu Basemnimni organisation SA
John Mbatha (pastor/paramedical): Chairman Isolabantu Basemnimni Organisation SA
Email: pssjmbatha49@gmail.com

Elizabeth van den Heuvel-Crawford: English teacher

With great thanks to materials of AFS Netherlands:
Connecting Lives, Sharing Cultures

With the participation of Tools To Work:
Re-integration, Development Cooperation, Transmitting Knowledge


Click on the word ‘film’ below, to watch a short film about John

Film: John Mbatha; Chairman Isolabantu – South Africa, October 2012


Project Uitwisseling Andersom – Exchange Of A Different Kind

To bring young adults (as from 18 years old) from South Africa, in small groups of f.e. 4 persons, and whom are willing to/motivated to make the best of their future, to the Netherlands and France ( to stay with Dutch people) for a period of 4 months.
It is also the intention to invite a few young adults with HIV/AIDS (in the future). Especially because these persons can be an example in a home country where the stigma on this illness is huge and try to lift the taboo from it. They also have the possibilities to work on a better future and to realize their dreams, despite the stigma, their illness and their environment !
(The language is English)
Intention and goal (also read below ‘advantages for everyone”):

  • To enlarge the view of this target group (in every way):
    By experiencing totally different cultures and staying in a different area, not only the wish but mainly the motivation can arise to create a better life in their home country. A life with more perspectives. They will go back with more knowledge:
    (better) reading and writing – general knowledge – self knowledge etc. (knowledge is power !). Eventually this will also change the home country for the better.
  • The loving guidance of this target group at a crucial moment in their lives, so they can achieve more out of their life.
    Insight: What are your talents and how can you use them ?
    By using their obtained knowledge to have a comfortable existence, they can not just
    be an example for others but possibly also motivate them by doing the same. Not only in their home country, but also the people (young/old) in the visited countries.
  • Helping this target group in processing of accumulated trauma, limited beliefs and other pains as much as possible. What is a requirement before being able to start a life from the heart and full of love.
  • Helping this target group to realise their dreams and a happy(ier) life which is everyone’s birthright.
  • Teaching this target group to take their own responsibilities en to become more conscious of the different processes.
  • The developments of this target group are weekly followed with the film camera and possibly broadcast on the television. (Only if we find a Dutch and/or South African media organisation who is interested in this project).

For who:

For those who are living in townships and/or an orphanage and want to work on a better future and can clearly indicate this in an evaluation interview. For those who know that happiness is everyone’s birthright.


By myself in co-operation with other (media) organisations, Loek en Peter-Jan in France  ad the Netherlands and different local government departments and project (NGO) Isolabantu in South Africa. The plan is that Janet and John from NGO Isolabantu, will do the coordination before the departure of this target group and when they come back to South Africa.
It is also my intention to bring Janet over to Europe the first time this project starts the exchange. She can be a safe haven for the young adults, follow the training and we can learn vice versa.This way the (international) coordination can progress smoothly.


A possible “regular residence permit certain time” and “authorization for temporary stay (MVV)”, on the basis of the TEV-procedure (Entry and Residence).


In Dutch home families for 4 months (15 weeks). In the 1st week the young adults will get time to acclimatize to the different culture and other family members. The young adults will get together at least 2 days a week at 1 permanent address, for a training on awareness and (self) development. This training is possible at the same time also given to some (unemployed) Dutch youth and ethnic minorities. In this way synergy can emerge at different levels and culture and co-operation are considered of paramount importance. During the week the young adults also have the chance to follow internship and get work experience at Tools To Work for 1 or 2 days a week and 13 weeks on end. This workplace provides a safe haven for people who want to come again in a rhythm of work and wish to acquire knowledge and experience on a number of disciplines: computers, bicycles, tools, wood, sewing and knitting machines. Also training will be given here and in third world countries on these fields. Their objective: It is better to give them the rod and not the fish (Dutch saying) !
They will get English lessons 1 morning every week.
There are also various other activities planned including visiting various places in the Netherlands.
This training in the Netherlands lasts 14 weeks in total, of which the 15th week of the stay are 7 days on end. After this, the 16th week of their stay will be at a beautiful place in France with Loek and Peter-
Jan, people with an identical mission. During this period, working on their dreams will become moe reality in the form of a project goal.

Return to native country/stimulus

When returning to their native country, the young adults will, if possible, get a kind of loan, f.e. microcredit, or bonus for half a year – to a year to help them realizing their dreams.This is also in co-operation with the government/local government departments in SA to give them responsibility too for the often hopeless situations. The ultimate responsibility remains with the individual and their own country. But guidance will be provided by local people!


Every half year there will be a new group of about 4 young adults.
This programme/project can run as long as the viewing figures indicate this and money available.

There are more possibilities of developing this project, not only at each subject mentioned above, but also for the future. For instance increase the home families at more continents, and/or pay the young adults a visit after approximately 6 months of their return to their home country: How are they doing….How did they spend the bonus/loan, etc.

Desired result:

The youngsters can see more daylight when returning to their home country, so that they experience more space to create possibilities. Opportunities to change their life situation in a positive way, by for example following (more) training or starting their own company or maybe even coaching the other young people in their own country. This with the aid of funding of both South Africa and the Netherlands.
The project’s desire is that the exchanged youngsters can trigger a snowball effect in their home country, by being an example for others. Sometimes there is only 1 person needed to bring a big change in a persistent situation !!

Advantages for everyone:

    • The co-operative organisations are giving an example of international and intercultural  co-operation.
    • In my opinion the co-operative organisations are introducing a powerful, challenging and inspiring programme/project, including many colours/developments/potentials, which  can change the lives of anybody who is watching this on television , or is working on this programme/project, in a good way.
    • With this programme/project the co-operative organisations can help decreasing the criminality, the amount of rapes and the walk about aimlessly of the youth in South Africa, mainly arising from accumulated frustrations and hopeless situations.
    • With this programme/project the co-operative organisations contribute to reducing the stigma and taboo regarding HIV/AIDS.
    • The home families (parent(s) and children of their own), will also be going through a process of growth: they will learn from the differences in culture – put everything more into perspective – learn from each other – give public assistance – ….
    • South Africa will benefit from all items mentioned above. The future lies with the young. South Africa will eventually benefits affected by an exchange like this and is hopefully willing to do one’s bit. Sometimes there is only 1 person needed to bring a big change in a persistent situation!!
    • Our hearts desire to give a positive contribution to this world in co-operation with other people, will become reality.

This entire project revolves around LOVE and HOPE and is not intended to provoke  a discussion or a truth claim. After all, everyone is unique and knows his/her own authenticity. This makes the world so beautiful and the intention here is to handle this respectfully !

In the whole concept of this project (available on request) are e.g. the following things worked out:
More information about NGO Isolabantu in South Africa – about Loek and Peter-Jan in France and the training for this project – plan of approach of the daily schedule in the Netherlands and the daily schedule of their stay in France, the accomodation with the Dutch home families and other activities.

We would like it very much if you are interested in this project, want to work with us and/or invest in this project, have ideas etc.
You are welcome to send an email to:
moniquevandelaar@hetnet.nl and/or

21st December 2013 Event NGO Isolabantu

21st December 2012 Event NGO Isolabantu

Project Exchange Of A Different Kind is not subsidized and is a non-profit organization. All costs are financed by sponsors in the Netherlands and South Africa. If you like to be a sponsor, you can transfer your amount to account IBAN: NL74ABNA0612384381, in the name of UA Netherlands and quoting “support UA”. Thank you very much !

For more information please click on ‘Oproep vrijwilligers project’ on the left side!
(It is no problem if you only speak English !)

The project is still in the development phase. We are still in consultation with the IND about how we can run this project as good as possible and adapt according to their rules. Without forgetting the Mission of the project. This is a fascinating, but always long way….