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 Cecilia Frieben, one of our amazing Ro’heroes this month.
Hi Cecilia! We’re thrilled to get to Ro’ you a bit better and share your amazing story. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Cecilia, I’m 26 years old and I came to Amsterdam a little over five years ago for my studies, though I have roots in Germany and Bali. I finished my studies a year ago and am luckily still here. I adore the city’s multicultural vibe and its openness. Recently, I started working as a studio assistant at Rocycle and am very happy to be a part of the lovely Rocycle family.
We are so happy to have you! Can you tell us how you came to find Rocycle?
Living close by the City Centre Studio, I had passed it many times and was very curious about what it was. So one day I decided to try it and immediately got hooked. Never have I been as enthusiastic about a sport as I am about Rocycle. It is so intense; it gives me so much energy and simply makes me feel good about myself. How can you not be addicted?
We’re so glad we can give you a little something when you give so much yourself! Speaking of, can you tell us a bit more about your charitable efforts?
My mother has always been my inspiration to do good. She has been working for Doctors Without Borders for several years, and through her I learned a lot about the organisation. A couple years ago, I was working as an informant for them, and I am still constantly stunned by the work they do. Living a rather privileged life, I find it hard to understand that there are still people being excluded form medical assistance elsewhere, which should be a human right in my opinion. That’s why Doctors WithoutBorders, an organisation that provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, natural or manmade disasters or excluded from health care, is a cause I truly believe in. They operate globally without prejudice for race, religion, creed or political conviction.
It truly sounds like a fantastic organisation and how wonderful it is you can share your passion with your mother. How are you sharing this passion with Rocycle?
When I was presented with the opportunity to host a charity ride at Rocycle, I got really excited. It was a succes!
We are happy the ride was a hit! Are there any other causes that are close to your heart?
This summer, I spent some time at an orangutang sanctuary in Borneo with my mother. The sanctuary aims to rehabilitate animals that have been freed from captivity or rescued from deforested areas that were destroyed by palm oil plantations. It was a heart-warming and beautiful experience, and we will surely continue to support them. It’s a very specific topic of course, but it is dear to my heart, as I love these animals that are so human and have my roots in Indonesia.
That also sounds like a terrific cause. Maybe we can hope to see another charity ride soon? You are so passionate about so many things; do you have any advice for the Ro’community on how to find a cause you love and get involved?
I believe it has to do with assessing your perspective. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a matter that affects a majority; it could be something very specific (like the orangutangs) that simply makes your heart beat. People tend to underestimate the power of even the smallest actions.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Alright, we’ve got one more question for you: what does giving back mean to you?A sense of gratitude for all that has been given to me. Less talking, more action!