Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
The women that unite with Belle&Balance all come from the same backgrounds where we come from. We are all higher educated young women that were totally surprised by the fact that they were hit by cancer. All these women are looking for meaning in their new lives, and want to make the world a better place themselves too, because they are all really greatful to still be alive. By offering them a programme that is for free, we try to inspire them to do something back for the world as soon as they are ready for it. The world in our case is still very local. We operate our foundation from the city of Amsterdam, but could extend our activities to other regions in the Netherlands. In order to help more young women and thereby indirectly more other people.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
One of the founders Lotte Wieland suffered from breast cancer when she was 24 years old. She found out she had breast cancer only 10 months after her mother died as a consequence of breast cancer.
During her illness, but even more after all the treatments, Lotte found out that she didn't fit into the existing programmes, because they were all pointed at older and less fit women that suffered from cancer. Having spent more than a year of her life in the cancer research centre, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, in Amsterdam, Lotte recognised that there were many more younger women too that suffered from the same disease as she did. All of them complaining about the lack of after-cancer treatments for younger women like her. That was the point in which Lotte started up the foundation Belle&Balance, together with her partner Sharon de Beer. By seeking other means that can help - and even more important that appeal to young women - Lotte and Sharon made up the Belle&Balance programme, in which a combination of Yoga (that has been specially created for breast cancer patients cause they can't move their bodies as flexible anymore as before) creative / physical and coachings workshops and massages comes together. Helping the women to restrengthen, relax and give meaning to their past and future.