Size Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Switzerland and was established in 2011. The Foundation’s mission and work primarily focus on education as the means to empower children and young adults around the world. In the following interview the vice-president, Barthold van Doorn, further explains the creation and significance of Size Foundation
How was Size Foundation started?
“I want to give back to the world, but I haven’t figured out how yet,” Steve wrote me. Shortly after that he dropped me another one-line email: “Can we start a foundation where we do something for the kids?” That is how it all got started. We decided the foundation was going to focus on empowering kids so that they could fulfill their dreams.
How did you feel about the idea?
It got me excited. I knew that with the number of people Steve could reach, the foundation could really make a difference. The thought of people becoming involved all over the world, so that we could make a difference in the lives of kids, was exciting. At the same time, the style of how Steve and Size Matter Records operates – right here and in your face – I knew that we could manage Size Foundation in an efficient way and keep a low overhead.
Why focus on kids?
By empowering the youngest generation, we have the biggest chance of making a long-lasting change that has a sustainable effect on communities around the world.
Do you have a motto?
My motto is “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
Why is this motto important to you?
It gives a person tools to create his own destiny. When the disaster struck Haiti, I saw an interview with this old lady who was sitting on a bench, complaining about how these big organizations were just handing out money: “We don’t want money – we need jobs. This is the only way people will feel good and feel like they are accomplishing something.” A human needs to be able to shape their own life; this makes him feel worthy. If you empower individuals through education, it gives them tools to realize their goals and dreams which generate self-worth. Given a chance, they can achieve what they are meant to.
Is this motto a part of Size Foundation’s philosophy?
Yes, it brings the whole change concept together. Our reasoning is that we don’t know what sort of change people want in their lives and communities. It is not our place to decide. But knowledge allows for people to make their own educated decisions on change.
What sort of an impact do you hope Size Foundation has made in 10-15 years?
I hope there are kids who have been able to pursue their dreams and change their future outcome. I hope education has made a difference in their lives. And I hope these individuals are sharing their stories to inspire and motivate others that there is a chance to have a better life. If the Foundation can support 20, 30 or 100 kids, so that they get a bigger chance in life, then imagine if each of these individuals affect one or two individuals in their immediate surroundings…Well, try to do the math…it would create a huge chain reaction, on both the individual and communal level, for many generations to come as well.
How would you describe Size Foundation in five words?
Change, Opportunities, Empowerment, Solutions-Focused and Playful.