About us

Who we are

Founded in 2016

Human Aid Now is a small grassroots charity registered and recognized in the Netherlands. Founded in September 2016 with the aim of supporting refugees in Northern Greece, we have since expanded to running projects throughout Greece, Serbia, France, Bosnia, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Access to basic needs for refugees

Human Aid Now is passionate about ensuring refugees in transit have access to basic products and services. We specialize in intervening where we are most needed, quickly and efficiently in times of crisis.

We are non political

Human Aid Now is a purely humanitarian organisation. We do not take any political standpoint about the migration crisis. We work with passion and respect and we endeavor to deliver our services whilst preserving as much as we can the dignity of the people we help and acting in the most sustainable manner possible. To increase our efficiency, we often work in collaboration with like-minded NGOs.

For refugees throughout Europe

All our programs and activities are centered around providing refugees thoughout Europe with services and goods to satisfy their basic needs. We define basic needs as: food, clothing, shelter, safety, healthcare and information.
Human Aid Now was originally called Human Aid in Greece but changed its name in 2019 as its mission expanded.


Governance

Transparency

Transparency is a key word for Human Aid Now. We have a documented authorization scheme to determine how donations are spent. Feel free to contact us at info@humanaidnow.org for any information on this. We report on each cent that is spent and we are always very happy to inform donors about the progresses of projects they support.

99% of donations spent on-site

We are committed to keep our acquisition costs and overheads below ten percent of incoming funds. Actually, we are very proud that so far we managed to keep those costs under 1%, which means that more than 99% of donations were spent on-site for the refugees. There is no remuneration or other financial incentives for the board members.

We are volunteers

The board and the director are collectively responsible for defining and agreeing the long-term vision, strategic planning and budgeting of the organisation. They share formal responsibility for Human Aid Now and must act in its best interests. The director and board members are volunteers and are not entitled to any financial compensation.

Annual reports

All our annual reports are publicly available:

Annual Report 2016 
Annual Report 2017
Annual Report 2018
Annual Report 2019
Annual Report 2020

 


Portrait of our Dominique Nientker

Dominique Nientker

Director

Dominique has over 25 years of experience in investment banking, after which she changed sectors to work for smaller businesses. She worked on a start-up in artisanal foods and is the most experienced in project evaluation and finance.

Since June 2017 she volunteers full-time for Human Aid Now. At the moment she coordinates weekly distributions of food and hygiene items in Amsterdam for over 10.000 people, mainly undocumented migrants, who lost their income due to the pandemic and have no access to the regular social services. Before Covid, she was regularly in Calais, Dunkirk or Paris. In all locations in France, she was known as the nice lady who always brings all the most needed and urgent items, which ensured an amazing working relationship with the NGOs on-site.

 


Portrait of our Carsten de Koning

Carsten de Koning

Board chair

Having worked for corporates in Holland and abroad, Carsten is now involved in teaching, start-ups and social initiatives, often helping with fundraising. “When I met Wouter on one of his first fundraisers, I was inspired by his motives and energy, so I decided to help him, having been involved in other refugee initiatives.”

In the summer of 2019, Carsten visited 3 of our Heroes in Greece and spent some time working with them and tens of other volunteers, young and old. Fortunately, there are hundreds of them, every year. Their stories are a testimony to what humanity feels like, looking after others who are in need, giving unconditionally their time, expertise and care.“They both serve as an inspiration to me as well as a mirror how my world looks like.”

 

Portrait of our Bart Driessen

Bart Driessen

Board treasurer

Bart has founded and directed a design studio for many years. He is a problem solver, linking and combining experience and knowledge gathered in many domains, finding new solutions and ideas. Pragmatic, energetic, creative, result oriented, having the overview and an eye for detail. Now he works as CTO in a company that provides services to the building and insurance industries.

He was a volunteer in Greece for a year in total. He co-created an app to manage logistics for the distribution of aid goods and later he was leader of a team of volunteers in a camp in Northern Greece. For Bart its important to – after being in Greece – remain committed to supporting refugees, in Greece, in The Netherlands and elsewhere, by helping grassroots teams to work as professional and effective as possible.

Portrait of our Carla Houben

Carla Houben

Board secretary

Carla is a coach and mediator (specialized in restorative circles) by profession. Besides, she has been engaged in social work for some thirty years, serving on various boards in the field of (Montessori and international) education and NGO’s, mainly combatting poverty and promoting equal opportunities to disadvantaged groups. In that capacity, she has worked together with a number of donors as well as the municipality of Amsterdam in recent years. She encountered Human Aid Now through the food project in Amsterdam during the pandemic, helping people -often from Asia, Latin America or Africa- who lost their jobs during the lockdowns and have no access to the food banks nor other support systems. She ponders about the many big questions in life but always tries to translate her yearning for a more humane society into a practical commitment to help out where she can.

 


Portrait of our Wouter Nientker

Wouter Nientker

Founder

Wouter has a mathematics and logistics background with a specialization in humanitarian development. Next to his activities at Human Aid Now, he has worked as an advisor and academic for international humanitarian development organisations through INSEAD and Dalberg. Consequently, he has learned how to efficiently run a variety of humanitarian operations and this is what he attempted to do while growing Human Aid Now. Currently based in Kenya, he works in humanitarian development for urban informal settlements in East Africa. Meanwhile, he still works on internal and strategic growth questions in the organisation. Wouter started Human Aid Now originally in 2016 as Human Aid in Greece after having volunteered around Thessaloniki in Greece.

 

Portrait of our Catarina Batista

Catarina Batista

Hero Academy Project Lead

Catarina is a passion-driven innovator and communicator with a strong interest in futures thinking, psychology and social challenges.
While spending the last 4,5 years working as a designer and innovation coach within multidisciplinary teams, Catarina has seen herself as a facilitator and connector. By bridging people across intercultural backgrounds, she is able to adapt continuously to diverse teams while appreciating and embracing everyone’s uniqueness and contributions.

She is intrigued about the connection between design innovation and humanitarian challenges. This has led her to connect with Human Aid Now and to be a Hero Academy developer. She is now eager to drive this project forward and to generate measurable impact.