About the founders

By Anja van der Wal
Initiator and co-founder of the Narangi Foundation

In late 2007, I decided to live my dream of living in India for a while, and early 2008 my partner and I left The Netherlands and set foot in Mumbai. To explore the world's ‘largest democracy’ and emerging superpower.
We travelled extensively through South India, lived in Delhi for a few months and finally ended up in Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan. Here we lived for over a year, meanwhile continuing to tour India, especially Rajasthan and other parts of the north.  

To learn more about India’s problems and difficulties as well as India’s opportunities, innovations and best practices, we paid visits to tens of organizations nationwide. From day one, we spoke with people working in both public and private sector, and spent time with many local NGOs and civil society initiatives. 

Visiting a weavers society
Visiting a dairy society, 
and a farmer’s family

Moreover, living in Jaipur means experiencing ‘the Indian way of life’ to the full and stepping out of your comfort zone every single day. A deliberate choice, which enabled us to discover the country’s ways of life, traditions and habits in a very intense manner and - thanks to our Indian friends - also to a very personal level. Learning the basics of Hindi helped to understand the culture(s) more deeply and to get in touch with many more people. 

Traffic in Jaipur

Two years in India: a challenging, amazing, dazzling, shocking, and at times frustrating and maddening expedition. But overall: a highly enjoyable, life changing, enriching and inspiring adventure!


From mid-2010 to early 2012, we continued our journey in Budapest, ‘just a stone's throw away’ from The Netherlands. Hungary, a young democracy burdened with a deepening economic crisis, led by a controversial government, and poverty just around the corner if you scratch the surface. But also a country with long and sunny summers, and with a beautiful, grand and happening capital. In short, enough to discover and plenty to enjoy. It turned out to be the perfect place for us to relax and unwind, and to reflect on two hectic years in India.

For me, this reflection led to the creation of ‘Narangi’. In India we had met Rohit, our Hindi teacher. Together with his wife he was running a small project providing basic education to slum children. They had a wish to expand their activities. And we had a wish to contribute to improving the lives of the poor in India. After careful consideration, we decided to set up a foundation, the Narangi Foundation, to support and boost the great work done by Rohit and his wife. In future, we hope to work with many more (civil society) projects aimed at helping underprivileged people, in India and elsewhere in South Asia. 

The founders visiting the schools 
supported by Narangi