Maarten G.H. Brekelmans is the Founder of the Orphan Awareness Foundation (2007) and World Initiative for Orphans (2004) and VP of OAF World Council.
He started at the Netherlands Police Academy for a management position but was more triggered by international, social and humanitarian aspects of life. Working in various roles in the risk management industry since 1980, Brekelmans has witnessed his share of destruction and despondency in various parts of the world throughout his 30-year career.
However, his professional experience did not prepare him for what he would encounter while travelling to hospitals, refugee camps and (religious) missions in more than 50 countries around the world.
Brekelmans saw first-hand the sadness in a child’s eyes who has been left without a name, a home, a family, and food.
From 1996 to 2002 he served as the Executive Director of 6 service oriented centres in the international insurance industry, employed by a major Dutch/British company (Delta Lloyd-CGU). Serving the elderly, international travellers and developing countries.
Since a long sabbatical in 2002, he dedicated his time and efforts till 2004 to helping children as chair of Europa Kinderhulp. This organization has helped bring a glimpse of happiness to over 80.000 disadvantaged children from European countries by creating summer camps with host families in the Netherlands.
Following during 2003 – 2004 he served also as Managing Director of the CDA Steenkamp Institute, the training facility of the Dutch Christian Democratic Party CDA, the then, for decades, governing political party of the Netherlands. A manager of one of the campaign teams and from 2003/2005 he was a chosen State Representative of the NH Parliament of The Netherlands.
In June 2003, he volunteered to be an independent liaison for the International Advocates for Children in Europe where he founded (2004) the new organization WIO with Dutch supporters Sandra Lagace (Amsterdam) and Rob Peters (Heteren).
In January 2005 he agreed to serve as General Director of the European office. After opening the Headquarters for the new movement to Amsterdam in December 2005, he was appointed as CEO by January 2006.
His role in the foundation concerns primarily guarding the unique, pragmatic and efficient innovative construction of the organization as one of the new world players in global assistance for children without parental care. Brekelmans is responsible for external communication with Presidents, Ministers and all leading stakeholders worldwide such as World Bank, European Commission, ICGLR, AFDB, Council of Europe, African Union, Arab League and all entities at the United Nations in Geneva and New York. In 2007 he co-founded OAF, The Orphan Awareness Foundation, as parent entity over all WIO’s in the world. He is asked and expected to be the 1st C.E.O. of the Global Orphan Fund (2014).
In May 2009 Brekelmans was chosen as Vice President of Partin Foundation, the largest Dutch confederation of small private initiatives in development assistance. This organization aims to represent the 8000 Dutch foundations to the government of The Netherlands and focuses also on quality improvement between the members.
Also Maarten Brekelmans is a private member of the Dutch United Nations Association NVVN.
For his passion, Brekelmans is a frequently asked speaker on Womens and Childrens Rights, at Universities and Cabinets all over the world.
Brekelmans is fluent in English, French and German and lives in Belgium. He loves to travel; gardening, animals and charity work are his other interests. He serves OAF and WIO fulltime since 2004 without pay.