mai-nha161013_2-1-4Marc Witlox, born to a Dutch father and a French mother, benefitted from the open-mindedness and curiosity that such a bi-cultural upbringing offers.

It was during a trip around the world with his family that this passionate traveler discovers Vietnam. He is immediately charmed by this beautiful country, the energy, courage and elegance of its people. A few years later, when he decides to give a new orientation to his life and to put his past experience to work for underprivileged children, he chooses to return to Vietnam. He acquires a piece of land close to Mui Ne between coconut groves and small rice paddies in order to build homes for abandoned children. Inspired by the project he presents to them and convinced that he will implement the project in a pragmatic and rigorous way, his friends from Holland decide to support him. As a result, they create “stichting Mai Nha” which raises the funds necessary to start the project. Thanks to them, the first Mai Nha family home becomes a reality in 2012.

Marc Witlox has lived in Vietnam for 5 years with countless trips to Mai Nha. Today, he spends his time between Vietnam and France. In both countries he is responsible for fundraising, managing the relationships with companies and foundations and keeping  the sponsors up to date regarding the ongoing programs which thrive thanks to them. Whether presenting the next major initiative of Mai Nha (the construction of a school where over 100 scholarship children can improve their English speaking skills) to potential sponsors or visiting several toy stores in order to choose the most suitable, stimulation enhancing  games recommended by the psychologists who provide precious advice, what is striking with Marc, is the combination of professionalism and true pleasure he experiences from the things he does.

When this tireless ambassador of Mai Nha is asked what keeps him going, he smiles:

Life has been good to me. What is more meaningful than giving back to others what you received personally? When I see the smiles on the faces of all these children, their joie de vivre despite the fact they have been abandoned, I’m telling myself it’s really worth it, in a modest way, to offer them a better life.

Professional experience

After graduating from business school in Rotterdam and getting his Certified Public Accountant’s degree, Marc Witlox’ professional career took him to France, the Netherlands and the USA. He started with Arthur Young in Paris before joining Schlumberger. He then joined the Avery Dennison Corporation in the USA before returning to France in 1997 in order to restructure its French operations.

In 2002 he decides to discontinue his professional activities and to put his financial expertise and general management experience at work for others in need.

Marc Witlox speaks fluent French, English and Dutch.