Since the war began in Ukraine, the Netherlands has seen more than 63,000 refugees arrive and register in a local municipality in search of a safer place to stay. With the UN reporting more than 15 million people fleeing their home country as of June 2022, the displacement caused by the war has become one of the fastest-growing refugee crises since World War II. Most of the millions displaced are women and children.

Martijn Karrenbeld, our Global Market Sector Director for Industrial Manufacturing, lives with his family in the Dutch village of Enspijk. Being only 2,000 km away from the center of the crisis and hearing about the volume of people flocking to his country, Martijn and his family felt an urge to do something to help.

“We realized that we have the space to build a small house,” Martijn shares. “After consulting with my family, we began building a house on our property. At the same time, I learned of a colleagues’ Ukrainian family seeking a place to stay, and naturally, all the pieces began falling into place.”

The family set out to turn their idea into reality and took on the challenges that came with it, including arranging building permits from the local authorities, ensuring a proper sewer system was connected, and making sure the house had all the basic amenities. Their work finally paid off as they began to see the new home almost finished and ready to welcome two Ukrainian families this year.

The Arcadian ethos of putting people first resonated in Martijn so much that he embraced this core value beyond the office walls. We are proud of our colleague and the Karrenbeld family for helping improve quality of life for those in need.

Watch this video to learn more about Martijn’s inspiring story.

A small home for a big cause

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