About us

The story

The story behind Toe to Heart

In 2004 we started with a project that can be copied by anyone. You don’t have to be exceptional to do this. The hope we have is not on the 5 percent exceptional people who can do exceptional things but on the 95 percent normal people who can do normal things. Who can just give a bit of material and/or immaterial help, a bit of Toe and/or a bit of Heart. Everyone, even the exceptional among us, are able to do that.

Toe to Heart in 2006/2007

The story starts when...

Thomas van Berckel, a Dutchman, in August 2003 breaks the toenail of his big toe at Mahatma Gandhi Road in Bangalore. He goes to a small hospital and likes the nurse, Lalitha, who takes care of his toe. They stayed in touch and six months later, in February 2004 they married. Six months later, on 8 August, they founded Toe to Heart Trust Bangalore India. Toe to Heart has, with the help of many volunteers and donors, helped dozens of children to graduate up to PU2 levels with providing Toe (Small Material Help) and Heart (Small Immaterial help).

Our 3 ways to change lives

Education and personal growth

We focus on helping children with education and personal growth. Small material (Toe) and immaterial support (Heart), just enough to give them the needed foundation to be able to do the rest themselves.

Everyone can help! You too!

Literally everyone can help. Some people can provide material assistance in the form of money or goods (Toe), while others can offer immaterial help (Heart), such as their time and attention.


Reciprocity/ truly meeting each other: a project needs to be rooted in a community. It should benefit giver (and strengthen the community) and taker (receive material and immaterial help)

The social problem that Toe to Heart focuses on is:

There is a large gap between the rich and the poor for various reasons. The main way out of the “poverty trap” is through education. Every child, especially girls (who yield the most significant results) that receives help can contribute to reducing poverty, not only for themselves but also for future generations. ​

The Toe to Heart solution is:

The “Toe to Heart” concept is to provide small material (like paying school costs) and immaterial educational and personal help (like after school care) to children through reciprocal relationships and by rooting the project into the local community with local donors and volunteers.

Our Mission Is:

The mission is, the Toe to Heart concept to grow further in India and apply it in multiple cultures and countries. In this way we like to contribute to closing the gap between the rich and poor. We wish to further explore international opportunities to either work together with existing initiatives in other countries or expand into other countries and cultures.