Once December hits, it’s usually full-on holiday madness. Anyone and everyone is obsessed with finding the perfect gift to give. But what about those of us who are focused on giving back to the world and the community, rather than giving gifts? This year, we want to focus on giving back instead.
We’d like to highlight some of our wonderful, charitable Ro’heroes who are truly making a difference in this world. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to Catherine van Nierop, one of our amazing Ro’heroes this month.
Hi Catherine! We are so glad to have a chat with you and to learn about all the wonderful things you’re doing. Can you introduce yourself?
Hi there! I’m Catherine. I’m 35, live in Amsterdam and work as a consultant/psychologist at Twynstra Gudde, a consultancy office in Amersfoort. I love spending time with family and friends and, of course, love cycling. To be honest, until recently I thought I wasn’t sporty at all, but given my recent sport performances I guess I can say I am… 😉.
Oh really? It’s always gratifying to prove yourself wrong! Speaking of being sporty, will you tell us how you found Rocycle?
I love cycling, and my niece told me about Rocycle and how much she loved it. Since then, I have encouraged some of my friends and colleagues to join me on the bike. With success!
We always love when our regulars bring newbies along. The more the merrier. Alright, enough about us. What we’re really interested in are your efforts to help aid pregnant teens in distress. Give us an overview of your efforts.
In some rural areas, when a girl (unwillingly) gets pregnant at an early age, her access to school will be denied. Since I believe education increases the chance of a better future and is crucial to make the world a better place, I’m taking up a challenge to raise money to give these girls access to the education they deserve. Who run the world? Girls!
How awful! These poor young women are already in such difficult situations, and it is shocking to learn that their communities don’t support them. You, how ever, are doing great things to support them. Can you tell us about your ride through Guatemala to raise money for the cause?
In February, together with 16 other enthusiasts, I will bike through Guatemala. That’s 450 kilometres in 7 days (8000 altitude meters), cycling up mountains, going through rough landscape sand mastering steep downhills. With this challenge, I hope to raise as much money as possible to help teen mothers in Guatemala. I have to raise a minimum of €4,000. Some of the money will be used to pay for the girls’ education, while the other part will be used to give young girls and boys sexual education to prevent teen pregnancies in the future. During the rides we will visit local communities to meet young girls and to see and learn about Plan Nederland’s work.
What incredible work you’re doing. Do you have any advice for people who want to find a cause they love and get involved as you have?
Do what you already like to do. So it won’t feel like an obligation or a time consuming effort. For me, I already liked cycling, travelling and helping others. Therefore Cycle for Plan gives me tons of energy and is the perfect way for me to get involved.
That’s fantastic advice, thank you. So, finally, can you tell us what giving back means to you?
By helping someone else, I help my self aswell. Although I’m biking for teen mothers first and foremost, I’m also pushing my own boundaries, which makes me stronger, healthier and more confident. So it’s a win-win!
Donate to Catherine’s cause here!