It all began with a young woman in a shelter opening up about her struggle. Her story, told during an awareness campaign on the elimination of violence against women, illuminated to Soroptimists of Scheveningen just how much their action was needed.


Soroptimists learned that the Dutch government supports survivors of domestic violence with only the absolute necessary: food and shelter. As voiced by this young woman, this was not enough, they also needed training to live independent futures.


Together with Stichting Perspektief, a specialised NGO for crisis shelters and independent living, the Soroptimists designed a training package. This was aimed at empowering young women, under 27 years old, living in a shelter in The Hague.


‘Future box’ was born

Soroptimists identified the most required training courses for these young women. Working together with Stichting Perspektief and the head of the shelter, ‘Future Box’ was born – a training programme based around five topics:


  • Self-defence
  • Budgeting
  • Childcare
  • Sexual education
  • Creative arts for grief processing

The women taking part in these courses could obtain several certificates. The courses were organised by the shelter, with Soroptimists raising EUR 3,200 to help pay for the trainers.


Despite the pandemic, 24 girls have already benefitted from this project. The members of Soroptimist International Scheveningen are keen to raise that number by bringing Future Box to more young women.


They consider this project to fill certain gaps in government policy. By establishing Future Box, they play a fundamental part in helping equip these young women for full autonomy and a life free from violence.


16 Days of Activism’ begins on 25 November, to raise awareness of gender-based violence against Women. Follow us on social media to discover a new project that helps female survivors of violence every day:



Bintou Koïta, Senior Programme Officer at SIE HQ

for SIE Programme Team 2021-2023