United Way the Netherlands aims to bring about lasting, positive change
in Dutch communities by alleviating the hardship of vulnerable population groups.

We are impact-driven, solving issues in our focal groups. To this end, we identify and engage the help of a whole range of talented partners and coordinate their contributions to increase our effectiveness for maximum success.

In broad terms, we want to help individuals and families achieve their potential. In order to reach this objective, we strive to integrate vulnerable refugees, to connect isolated seniors and to achieve financial stability for adolescent youth.


Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our communities through
individual giving, corporate giving and volunteerism.

We are the problem solvers, the hand raisers, the game changers.

Mental health-related support, quality education and financial stability are the building blocks underpinning our activities.

Mental Health

A person’s personal and financial situation should never prevent access to mental health services. Yet for many in the Netherlands, barriers to this type of healthcare are a daily reality.


Success in life begins with a quality education. Sadly, tens of thousands of young people need better language and other skills to stay on track at school and finish their education in order to find a career.

Financial Stability

Chronic unemployment, financial illiteracy and homelessness are some of the causes making financial stability hard to achieve for both individuals and families.


Peter Weiss


Peter has over 35 years of banking experience, mainly as a career expatriate with ABN Amro, holding positions across different functions and geographies. He was CEO in Venezuela, Greece and Romania. Currently, Peter holds a number of non-executive board positions with financial institutions, private companies, NGOs and educational institutions.

Steven van Groningen


Steven van Groningen is a banker who has over the past 20 years occupied various top management positions in subsidiaries of Western European banks in Romania, Hungary and Russia. He is also very much involved in several organizations and professional associations which aim to improve the climate for investment, stimulate the development of the Romanian economy and the quality of life. Steven teaches an MBA business ethics course at Maastricht School of Management in Bucharest. He is a former canoeing Olympian and Ironman triathlete and has remained very active in sports. He is one of the founders and the first president of United Way Romania and a former chairman of the United Way Worldwide Leadership Council.

Henriëtte Hulsebosch


Henriëtte has been general manager of Kansfonds with heart and soul for over ten years. Caring for vulnerable people is a leitmotiv throughout her career. After a start as budget consultant for the disabled, she helped shape social policy for two municipalities. Eventually, she found her place in the world of NGOs, initially as a senior advisor at Oranje Fonds, later as general manager at Kansfonds.

Willem van Gogh

General Board Member

A great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, the painter’s brother, Willem has been working for Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum since 1999. After a career as a lawyer, he joined the museum as director of its shops. From 2009 he has been advisor to the board, working as an ambassador for the expansion and strengthening of the museum’s national and international networks.

Pien van Karnebeek-Thijssen

General Board Member

Pien started her career in various commercial positions at Heineken NV. She subsequently worked at Philips NV before moving to Yess International executive search. Pien has been lady-in-waiting to HM Queen Máxima since 2013. She is also currently a board member of Rijksmuseum Fonds and has been on the boards of various foundations throughout her career. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Amsterdam.


Machiel Salomons

Executive Director

Machiel is an experienced representative with a demonstrated history of working in international affairs. He is a strong professional skilled in humanitarian assistance, international law, policy analysis, refugee law, diplomacy and international humanitarian law. He recently retired after a distinguished career with the United Nations, where he held various positions in ten countries, including that of UN resident coordinator. In his most recent capacity as head of policy of the development and evaluation service in the cabinet of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Machiel published various reports. He is the founder of United Way the Netherlands.

Myles Bavin

Programme Officer

Myles is a Dutch and British dual citizen. He is currently studying artificial intelligence at the University of Amsterdam. His experience of volunteering with international organizations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Netherlands has been focussed on developing sustainable communities.

Julie Barikmo

Programme Manager

is 21 years old and comes from Norway. She has spent the last couple of years studying journalism and international studies in London. Currently she is pursuing her BA in political science at the University of Amsterdam. Together with her professional knowledge in media, international studies and political science she has a long history of being engaged in volunteer work and community outreach through Norway´s largest student organization.

Ivan Milanow

Web Designer

Born in the former Yugoslavia, Ivan has lived in countries around Europe. He has acquired a background in psychology and is skilled in communication, pedagogy, andragogy and educational product design, as well as creative and outreach writing. Ivan has extensive experience in online content management, project coordination, social media management, e-learning and youth training. He worked closely with organizations in the non-profit, developmental and educational sectors, including Olde Vechte Foundation and Anne Frank House (both in the Netherlands) and Meta Terra in Serbia. His own company, Illumniscate, focusses on playful learning.

Terri J. Kester

Editorial Consultant

Terri is a multilingual writer, editor and communication consultant based in Amsterdam and France. While thinking of herself as a generalist, she likes to focus on cultural, humanitarian and travel-related subjects. Working for such clients as KLM, World Press Photo and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has deepened Terri’s international orientation. She developed formulas for a wide range of magazines and newsletters, for publication in print and online.


United Way advances the common good in communities across the world.
Our worldwide focus is on education, income and health – the building blocks for a good quality of life.

United Way is the number 1 privately funded non-profit organization in the world. Through independent offices in nearly 1,800 communities in more than 40 countries, we make it our mission to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good. We bring together the organizations, families and resources required to create opportunities of better lives for all.

United Way the Netherlands was founded on 14 December, 2018, to create a lasting, positive change in Dutch communities.


Myles will help you find out more about ways to support United Way the Netherlands

Myles Bavin

Programme Officer