John Schut founded Stichting4Life in 2003:

I was raised with the idea that if you’re doing well, you can and must do something for someone else. For people who were not born in a Western country. But just giving money does not solve things structurally and only creates dependence. Therefore for the past 15 years I have been focussing on an entrepreneurial way of development aid.

Our philosophy was developed during a project on the Philippines where we helped children in the sex-industry. The first children we took of the streets and tried to help with education, were back in the streets in no time. The children took take of the income for the whole family. Meaning without an alternative for the parents, we couldn’t help the children. Our philosophy of work for the parents and education for the children was born. The project in the Philippines was self supporting in 4 years and more than 40 families could continue without outside help.

Next we came to Kenya in 2003. First via a project of a Dutch friend who has been active in Kenya for years. And since 2007 with our own projects in the biggest slum of Africa: Kibera in Nairboi.

Kenya is a beautiful country with beautiful people, but unfortunately a big part of the community still lives below the poverty line. Certainly in the slums. We want to give these people opportunities. We want to give children the opportunity to go to school, learn and eventually get a job. Often education is not available, or on such a low level that the children will never go further than primary education. We also give their mothers the opportunity to earn a fair wage, so they can support their family and offer them a future. In short: the opportunity for these families to break the cycle of poverty.

We have witnessed first hand that people grab these opportunities with both hands. We started in 2007 with 8 children. Now more than 1.500 children and their mothers benefit from our projects. And we want to help even more people. Because there are so much more children and mothers who deserve the opportunity. They prove every day that our approach really works and is a great leap forward.

Will you help?

John Schut
Founder and chairman of Stichting4Life

On 25 November 2015 John died after fighting cancer for two years. In 2004 his partner Linda also got actively involved in the foundation. She has been running the foundation since 2008 together with a number of colleagues (= 1,5 FTE).

After John died, the board has expanded with committed board members who contribute to the growth of the foundation with their own specialty.