Our story

Project Growing Up started at the end of 2013. The project was developed by two friends, Carmen and myself Marieke. We were travelling through South East Asia for over a year when we decided to pursue their passion. Which was to create an educational program that would empower teenage girls and teach them about sexual education. The first pilot program was put into practice in the Philippines, where we educated 51 primary school students in the slums of Manila.

While travelling further and interacting with more and more teenagers across Asia, we realized not only girls needed our program. That’s the beauty of teaching; as a teacher you yourself never stop learning. So, we learned and decided to broaden our horizon. Nowadays, the program is not only focused on sexual education for girls. It’s for both boys and girls, and is enlarged with all kind of challenging topics for youth while growing up.

Uitsnede 2

Then came the day we missed our home, after more than two years of teaching abroad we travelled back to the Netherlands. But we didn’t want the journey of Growing Up to end in Asia of course.

So we started the Project Growing up Foundation. And besides executing our voluntary Project Growing Up projects yearly, now national and international organizations can purchase (one or more components of) our program. The program will always be customized for each organization, depending on their cultural standards and needs.

Project Growing Up also provides a train the trainer program for volunteers who want to organize a Growing Up Project themselves. We guide them towards their own project abroad.


Project Growing Up believes in empowering and challenging youth through education. Our projects provide them with tools that help them deal with personal challenges while growing up. Cultural education programs work best in connection with adolescent students. Above all, this foundation believes that education is the most sustainable way of development.


Project Growing Up is a non-profit organization that creates and offers education that is customized to different cultural standards in developing countries. These educational programs focus on subjects that are essential to youth while growing up: sexuality, puberty, self-image, hygiene, healthy lifestyle, bullying and more.

We want to benefit society by empowering our youth, our future. Project Growing Up aims to empower youth by teaching them how to use their own strengths and knowledge and be able to overcome personal challenges. The foundation always takes the students cultural & social standards and boundaries into consideration while working towards a bright future in which we have empowered them.

Growing Up is looking to collaborate with local organizations to offer contextualized programs that can be implemented over a longer period. So do not send volunteers to pass on their western customs during a short period of time. We want our volunteers to emphasize on sustainability as well.