Founding Story

We were founded in 2009 out of dedication to each other and our shared goal of contributing to more global equality.

Carli Kooper founded the Heliconia Scholarship Foundation in the Netherlands in 2009, together with Mili Chana in Indonesia. Their special friendship and dedication to growing together is the basis of our wider Heliconia Community and ensures the success and durability of our mission.

Read Carli's personal founding story below!

Founding Heliconia

This charity was founded after a special trip through Asia in 2007. I had just graduated from high school and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel out of Europe for the first time. During this trip I did volunteer work for several educational projects, because I hoped to learn more about the different cultures and people in this way. I found what I was looking for and had wonderful experiences teaching English to children for projects in Thailand, India and Indonesia.

With Mili Chana, one of the youngsters from Dorkas shelter in Jakarta, I stayed in touch. We were of the same age and immediately bonded in a special way. After returning to the Netherlands, I went to university, but Mili did not have that opportunity. Then the idea was born to start the Heliconia Scholarship Foundation (formerly known as Stichting Heliconia), which we founded officially in March 2009. We now both graduated from a good university.

Our friendship and charity grew stronger over the years. I am grateful for our many wonderful experiences together and proud that we are able to offer evermore young adults a scholarship. I look forward to seeing our organisation flourish far into the future!