Everywhere We Go! – Netherlands, March (Donation 99)

Project Fearless

by Clark Gillies

As we close the door on consecutive donations being made in double digits ahead of our 100th donation against Gibraltar in June, The Tartan Army Sunshine Appeal was delighted that our 99th donation went to a more than worthy cause with ‘Project Fearless’ in Amsterdam.

Finding a suitable recipient in Amsterdam initially proved surprisingly very hard, as all the organisations that we found at first were either far too big for our donation to make any difference, or they operated outside of the Netherlands.

Eventually through asking around, we found some options, and the stand out by some distance was Project Fearless.

Operating across a number of neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, Project Fearless was founded in 2019 and create after school programs for girls and gender-fluid youths (aged 9-14), which are specifically designed to future-proof the interests and skills of girls. This gives them the tools and confidence to discover who they are, follow new passions, break stereotypes and find their voice!

Project Fearless creates an empowering, supportive atmosphere, giving kids space to play without the pressure of perfection. They learn to celebrate each other’s falls and wins, while building their own resilience and self-confidence, experience varied leadership styles from accessible role models, and discover who they are on their own terms, should that be scientists, engineers, builders, makers, creators or to get to the top of any ladder they wish to climb.

They host a variety of different types of programs from skateboarding to art & science, which has been proven to build the confidence and resilience of the girls and kids who join their programs.

As a non-profit organisation, Project Fearless relies on partnerships and donations to keep the cost of their programs accessible — and in most cases completely free — to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to grow up fearless.

Within minutes of speaking with Merida Miller, the founder of Project Fearless, we knew we had made the right choice, as her drive and passion for the project really sold it to us.

The presentation was made on match day in Amsterdam, and due to the unpredictable Dutch weather (which could give the weather in Scotland a run for its money……), after some back and forth on the venue, we eventually got there once the rain had stopped. The donation was made on a sports track, as the kids who benefit from the work of Project Fearless showed off their track and field skills to us. They also had a million and one questions for us on subjects like “where have you travelled to?”, “is it not cold wearing a kilt?”, “can the bagpipe player play any songs from Taylor Swift?” etc.

With this donation, the £4,500 will allow Project Fearless to put almost all the girls through their scholarship program, meaning none of the families of the girls that benefit from Project Fearless will have to pay anything for them to take part.

Having met the girls in their program, and seeing how much they enjoy taking part in it, and the encouragement that Merida and the rest of the Project Fearless team give them, the Tartan Army can be very proud of itself in that it has helped with the development of the scientists, engineers and builders of tomorrow.

Now, onwards to triple digit donations…….

(Photos to follow)