“My dad brought me to a refugee shelter to drop off the clothes I collected for them. Because my mum is from Syria and my dad is from Iraq I could talk to the children in the shelter. In the beginning they didn’t trust me. When I asked them why they said it’s because they have been lied to too many times. I’m going to the shelter more often to play with the children and I told my friends in school about the kids. My classmates were so touched by my stories that they helped me set up a fundraiser. When I grow up and have a real job I want to give half of my salary to refugees or people who need it because the world is not just mine. It’s from all of us.”

A few months ago I interviewed Toby together with his sister Kyra and Father Joaquin about their voluntary work. Almost every night they are waiting at the Central Station to welcome refugees, handing out food and helping them to a shelter. After I posted their story here on Humans of Amsterdam I received an email from someone of the “Amsterdammertje van het Jaar” comitee asking me if I could connect them with Toby. “Amsterdammertje van het Jaar” is a prestigious award for children in Amsterdam who contribute to the city. Last night Toby won the award. I could not be more proud of him and all the other volunteers in Amsterdam who contribute day after day!

Toby doesn’t know I’m posting this so let’s surprise him by congratulating him!

“Amsterdammertje van het jaar” translated to English would be something like “Little Amsterdammer of the year”. If you have a better translation feel free to share.