Ilonka Veldkamp's field experience
My name is Ilonka Veldkamp. I am a Dutch woman, born in Indonesia from a (half) Chinese mother and a Dutch father. I grew up in the Netherlands, where I still live. In September 2010 I took a 8 month break to refresh myself, to deepen my spirituality and to get new insights of life. I travelled through Tibet and India and I ended up in Nepal. Here I met Ram Hari Khadka, founder of Sundaraijal Children’s home. He told me the stories of the children and the Sundaraijal Children’s Home. These stories made a deep impression on me and I decided to help Ram Hari with his project. In my belief that I can only help him, when I have experienced the situation in the children’s home myself, I went to Sundaraijal Children’s Home, where I worked as a volunteer for 8 weeks. During this period I met Leah, a Dutch anthropologist and filmmaker who helped me to make a film about the children for the website from Sundaraijal.
Ilonka Veldkamp's personal background
Although I am born in Indonesia I grew up in the south of the Netherlands. I finished high school and I became a primary school teacher on a school for brain damaged children. I worked with these children for about ten years. Then I started teaching Dutch for foreigners, mainly adult refugees. After 18 years I got the opportunity to work as a coach and counselor in a college. I help students between 16 and 30 years old to finish their education. Most of them have difficulties graduating because of different problems in their lives.
A few years ago I started meditating. For me this was the starting point of a deeper and spiritual way of life. I studied and practiced Vipassana meditation and Buddhist teachings and meditation. The techniques and the theories I learnt about, I use in my work as a coach and counselor.
Ilonka Veldkamp's about Sundaraijal Children's Home
In Sundaraijal Children’s Home, I can integrate my social and spiritual involvement in society. The holistic view on the project attracted me a lot and I have seen the positive effects on these children with a traumatic past. Therefore I ‘m involved in this project. I like to support this project by looking for a sponsor, give some information about this project to people in Holland, try to find people to donate some money for this project and I will do some other necessary work on distance for this project, when I am back in The Netherlands.