The Team

Our team is always happy to meet you when they’re not busy designing or delivering our solutions. This is us:

Matthijs de Rave


Idris van Heffen


Karlijn Jacobs


Our History

In 1979, a children’s book writer was born.
In 1985, an artist was born.
In 1986, a do-gooder was born.

Their paths did not cross until one spent a big part of his career in international health care services, another built a successful design studio that aims to inspire children, and the last was a children’s therapist that accompanied her partner on an international move.

In 2020, they joined forces and Expat Valley was founded.
In 2021, they launched the First Aid Kid.
In 2022, they continued developing solutions for international children and introduced the World’s Happiest Ecosystem.

In 2023, Expat Valley is a social enterprise with a continuously improving range of solutions and programs, all intended to accomplish our ultimate goal: we want international children to thrive!

It takes a village
to raise a child

Meet Bloom. Bloom is our symbol for a child living a happy childhood, growing up to become the best version of themselves.

The saying goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” It means that a community of people is needed for a child to grow up successfully in a safe and healthy environment. This community needs to care for the child, interact positively with it, and work together. This community consists of the child’s parents of course, but also of its extended family and/or support system, its educators, its health professionals, etc.

When a family moves to another country, they leave this community behind.

While some relationships continue to exist over distance, these people cannot support the influence and challenges that international migration causes on the child’s development and sense of belonging.

At the same time, local communities often struggle to successfully adopt international families. This is caused by a combination of factors, such as: cultural and language barriers, the same lack of understanding the influence and challenges caused by international migration, or families themselves struggling to find and build meaningful connections.

At Expat Valley, we believe that international migration should be an enriching experience that allows children to thrive. People that have spent their childhood growing up amongst different cultures develop ethnocultural empathy: the skill to understand and empathize with people from different ethnicities and cultures. To us, this skill is crucial to overcome the cultural misunderstandings that cause many problems in our globalizing societies.

We observed how international children and their families lacked global representation, and stepped forward. We are the Ombudspersons for International Children.

All Expat Valley’s activities focus on systemic change: we are building the World’s Happiest Ecosystem for International Children. This community provides a safe and healthy environment that international children can grow up in.

We raise Awareness for the experiences and needs of children in international migration, and facilitate Action for those that are ready to make a difference and contribute to the wellbeing and thriving of our global citizens.

Ultimately, we establish successful relationships between international children and the people and organizations that want to be part of the World's Happiest Ecosystem.



We believe that international migration should be an enriching experience that allows children to thrive.


We are building the world’s happiest ecosystem for international children.

This is a community where everyone benefits from extending care to these children. We support these children’s families, the organizations that sponsor their international move (such as multinational corporations, IGO’s and NGO’s, and governmental departments), and the organizations that are part of the international moving industry (schools, relocation companies, consulting firms, health service companies, etc.).


We are the Ombudsperson for International Children.

The purpose of the Ombudsperson for International Children is to create systemic change by establishing successful relationships between international children and the organizations that want to be part of the World's Happiest Ecosystem.


Our Impact Model is a formula that allows us to distinguish how our activities contribute to our mission in alignment with our vision:

Awareness + Action = Change

We raise Awareness with various stakeholders so they learn about international children’s experiences, and their own (potential) role in the World’s Happiest Ecosystem, and how they would benefit from extending their care to international children. We facilitate Action with those stakeholders that are ready to change their ways and find their ideal position to form successful relationships with international children.

Contact us

Expat Valley’s services are globally available, provided to you from the Netherlands.

This means that you can reach us by phone at reasonable times in the CET timezone:

Karlijn: +31 (6) 18 01 01 96

Matthijs: +31 (6) 41 29 87 01

To schedule an appointment immediately you can use this link
Or email us at hey@expatvalley.com 


We are registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce under license number 82246947

Our VAT registration number is NL862393115B01

And our bank account number is NL58TRIO0320303470