Until today, many of the foundation’s friends & scholarship donors are found among members of the Maranatha church and the Ecumenical Grassroots group Tilburg. Prominent members of these groups form the current board: Els Schots (foundation co-founder and board member since 1993), Hanneke Heisterkamp (board member since 2009) and Wil Verheggen (board advisor 2001-2020, board member since 2021).
Since its inception, the ‘Friends of Nazareth’ foundation supported 8 major projects and more than 145 students with 3-4 year annual grants of € 3.500. In 2016 a major milestone was reached when over € 1.000.000 worth of scholarships had been awarded to young Palestinian female students. Regular board member visits to Israel help establish and maintain direct contact with the students and the Palestinian community.
In the spirit of Friends of Nazareth values, scholarship recipients are required to volunteer 3 hours per week for community services. Another important scholarship condition is the “pay it forward” principle, under which 25 % of a scholarship is repaid to the foundation once students graduate and have gainful employment. These payments are interest free and can be spread over several years, and they are directly applied to future scholarships. It was important to the foundation that these core values be reflected in the scholarship message.