Johanneke van Slooten chose to help women from different disadvantaged situations. She wants to give women the chance to live a normal life and to give them a place to vent. A truly inspiring woman with so much respect and love for other women!
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Johanneke and I am the founder of the organization Cherut and KoffieKlap. We work with girls and women in prostitution, human trafficking, forced marriage, domestic violence, etc. This is a group of women that we want to support so they can stand strong again.
That is why we take to the streets in the prostitution neighborhoods to build op contact with the women there. This way, we hope to meet women who are there against their will in hopes that we can help them. Through our intervention, some women get the chance to make their own choices for the first time in their lives. That’s actually really confronting. As an organization, we want to stand for freedom of choice. We also have a drop-in center where everyone is welcome. You can come and have lunch there or participate in a wide range of activities, such as language coaching and job coaching.
How should/can women support each other?
It is so important to encourage each other, that we are constructive towards each other and that we see the uniqueness in each other. In our drop-in center there’s a quote, reads as follows: “What makes you unique, makes you beautiful.” I think the quote really speaks for us as women. We all have so much to give, with each our own talents. As women, we have to be able to stand strong without being jealous. I hope that we all can follow our hearts and change the world.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that she doesn’t have to stop herself because of events she has experienced in the past, but that she has to pursue her passions. Take steps forward, be brave and feel the power!
Who is your inspiring woman?
Every day I have a lot of inspiring women around me at Cherut and KoffieKlap. I have an incredible amount of respect for women who, despite their stories of serious abuse and despair, dare to fight for other women’s futures. They are real survivors. These women inspire me every day to continue doing what I do.
What’s your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day is early in the morning when all the others are still asleep. So amazing on my own. I prefer to see the sunrise to start my day off right.
What action/habit gives you energy every morning?
My first coffee of the day is very important to me, together with a moment of silence that really gives me energy. I am religious so I take some time to be with God. I quietly go over my day, even though my agenda is usually completely mixed up afterwards.
How do you celebrate me time?
Me time is a day off for me, with no plans on the agenda and then have breakfast in the sun with a friend.
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