HISTORYThe Dekeyser&Friends was founded by Bobby Dekeyser and Florian Hoffmann in 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland with the goal to create inspiring opportunities for young people. Board members include Herve Lampert, Dr. Daniel Borer and Oya Ogurcu.
A LETTER FROM BOBBY DEKEYSER“Just follow your dreams!” That is what the great soccer player Pelé answered to my nervously posed question as to the secret behind his success in 1985. I was 14 and had won a spot in a New York soccer camp through a talent contest.
The same moment I heard his answer, it became obvious to me, the school truant and rebel, that I had to become a professional soccer player. Today, 30 years later and with the experience of many ups and downs in my sports career and later as an entrepreneur, I never forgot Pelé’s words. I think to truly decide on a goal depends a lot on testing oneself and staying curious about life, people, and different cultures.
I believe that life offers many exciting possibilities – yet to find your own way and believe in yourself is a lifelong challenge. Young people in particular are searching for meaning and are often left alone with it but there are many experienced individuals that can help the next generation to get on its way. What I often find is missing is a platform that brings young people from all around the world together with experienced and competent individuals to jointly engage in inspiring and motivating activities. The Dekeyser&Friends Foundation initiates and supports programs that strive to give the next generation the empowerment and encouragement to seek their dreams.
Since our inception in 2009, we have created change around the globe. We put great effort into two programs in particular. In 2009 we started the journey to develop the new Compostela village in the Philippines, which has taken us up to the opening of the first parts of the village in 2012.
At the same time we also started our educational program, the D&F Academy, which grew more successful over the years and has now launched independently as the DO School. We are proud to further support the DO School on its way to educating more and more young social entrepreneurs in the future. Since 2009, many friends from around the world have already become part of our efforts. We hope many of you reading these lines will join in as well and become part of the Dekeyser&Friends movement.
Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dekeyser&Friends Foundation