Daniel Mulder, an EO Netherlands member since 2020, is based in Amsterdam. He runs two businesses, UP Events (a multifunctional event location) and UP Digital (focused on making teams better through gamification). In addition to his work and family life, Daniel is one of many EO members and entrepreneurs who have used their entrepreneurial superpowers to help coordinate support for Ukrainian refugees, and he and his family are hosting a mother and 5-year-old son in their family home.
We spoke to him about his experience hosting and what he believes EOers can do to make a positive impact in this crisis.
How did you first get involved in hosting a family from Ukraine? Tell us about your experience.
We heard stories about the first groups of families that had to stay in a refugee shelter here in the Netherlands. It all started though when fellow EO member Martijn Bos started a website in The Netherlands, HousesForUkraine, to connect host families and refugees from Ukraine. My wife and I gave the idea of hosting a full day’s consideration and decided to register. Ultimately, we were contacted by a Ukrainian woman living near us to see if we could host a family that was already on the way.
Throughout the process, we’ve all had our struggles to go through. All communication is done through Google Translate, and the 5-year-old boy and our 5-year-old daughter are still finding out whether they hate or love each other.
There were definitely learning moments for all of us along the way, including the one time we parked all of our bicycles at the train station. Later that day, our Ukrainian houseguests came back to the central station to pick up their bikes, but the parking there was so large (a few thousand bicycles easily), that they couldn’t find their bikes and decided to walk all the way home. I went in the evening to pick the bicycles up for them.
In the end though, I think we did the right thing. Our Ukrainian guests are very grateful, which makes me believe we’ve made a difference in somebody’s life.