About us

Our Story

During years of traveling to Sri Lanka for both business and pleasure, Liv founders Hugo and Elaine have developed a strong connection with the land and its people. After the birth of their daughter Livia, the Foundation’s namesake, they were inspired to give something back and began looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children of Sri Lanka. The solution revealed itself after a visit to the Rainbow Foundation sponsored Cholankande Youth Training Centre. The CYTC is a Jesuit-run school working to deliver vocational training programs and fight the discrimination and inequality faced by impoverished plantation worker communities. This was the perfect starting point.

Hugo, Elaine and Livia

Jos & Inge Busscher

The Liv Foundation was created in 2022 to continue and advance the work of Jos and Inge Busscher’s Rainbow Foundation, which for 25 years has funded charitable projects in underserved areas of India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. By focusing primarily on marginalized communities in Sri Lanka, The Liv Foundation is working to build a large family of highly engaged global partners determined to help advance equality of opportunity through quality education.


We face unprecedented existential challenges – climate change is driving economic instability. As the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” grows, we believe that learning empowered communities are needed to adapt to and collectively overcome the complex challenges of the 21st century. It is our collective responsibility to foster and empower this change. Success means a future, where a closer, more equal global community will not just survive, but thrive and cooperate to create a better tomorrow.


A flourishing global community on a healthy planet.


Ensure equal opportunity for the developing world by ensuring equal access to quality education.

We are committed to building global partnerships that drive funding and knowledge exchange to improve education in developing countries. Our focus is on supporting and initiating projects that equip underserved communities with the skills and knowledge to succeed in an increasingly complex, and connected world. By targeting the most vulnerable populations, we aim to close the opportunity gap and help end the cycle of poverty. Critical thinking, digital literacy and fostering a passion for independent learning will help individuals build resilience and play key roles in future innovation.

Our values

Our guiding principles that determine how and with whom we work


Long-term outcomes that matter


Taking action for a better world


Transparency & accountability


Striving to do better each day


Diverse & safe communities

Target SDGs

The global goals we focus on through our projects

No Poverty

Quality Education

Gender Equality

Affordable Clean Energy

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Reduced Inequalities

Responsible Production and Consumption

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Partnerships for the Goals


Elaine Blijdorp

Founder & Advisor

Elaine Blijdorp

Founder & Advisor

Elaine (1986) grew up in Groningen, in the North of Holland. After completing her bachelor's degree in International Communication, she relocated to Amsterdam, where she continues to live today with her partner and daughter Livia.

She spent her entire working life in marketing communications, and has a particular interest in visual identity and branding. Elaine believes strong, considered visual communication has the power to create strong emotional connections with their audience.

Elaine has always been passionate about travel, and “getting beyond the surface” in her understanding of cultures around the world. She has lived in Spain, Australia and Japan. Traveling around the globe has allowed her to understand that not everybody has the same opportunities in life. Becoming a mother brought her the clear realization that it was time to give back.

Hugo Hemmen

Founder & Chairman

Hugo Hemmen

Founder & Chairman

Hugo Hemmen (1991) was born and raised in Friesland, The Netherlands. Throughout his education, he has traveled the world, studying and completing field work in Chicago, Cape Town, Shanghai, Curacao, and Warsaw. After obtaining bachelor’s of International Business Management in Groningen, he continued his studies at the University of Amsterdam, eventually completing master’s degrees in International Relations and Contemporary Asian studies.

During this time Hugo and a team of Dutch software entrepreneurs founded Gapstars, an IT hub in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Under Hugo’s leadership as CEO, Gapstars has grown to over +200 employees, — the majority still based in Colombo Sri Lanka. After years of working closely with this community he has developed an undeniable urge to support them. Hugo understands a quality education is the key to opportunity. His experience in international business, and his passion to play a role in elevating this community help make the Liv Foundation make him a powerful force for positive change.

Marieke de Vries


Marieke de Vries


Marieke de Vries (1990), was born in Zwolle, the Netherlands and currently lives in Weesp with her son and partner. After finishing her study in Nautical Business Management at IVA Driebergen Marieke started her career in sales at a major car dealership in The Netherlands. While there, she met a superyacht owner who was searching for a project lead to handle a full refit of a 77 meter icebreaker tug. This brought the opportunity to transition into the career she had trained for.

Today head of sales at Superyacht Times, the leading media agency for the superyacht industry. Throughout her career, Marieke has always been a hardworking, motivated and enthusiastic part of every team. With her experience in the industry and her impressive network of customers Marieke is a strong addition to The Liv Foundation.

Matthijs Wolf


Matthijs Wolf


Matthijs Wolf (1985) was born and raised in Amsterdam. After completing his master’s degree in Labour Law at the University of Amsterdam, Matthijs started his career in recruitment. He has since held several different positions in both the recruitment and advertising fields.

Currently, he is a member of the Management team at Gapstars. Gapstars builds dedicated IT teams for fast growing software companies in Europe. After many working trips to the Gapstar teams in Sri Lanka, he fell in love with the country and its people. With his expertise, passion and energy, Matthijs is certain to make a positive contribution to The Liv Foundation.

Matthijs lives in Amsterdam with his girlfriend Elke and their little dachshund Ollie. Matthijs and Elke are expecting their first daughter in December 2022.

Sohanya Aziz

Program Manager

Sohanya Aziz

Program Manager

Sohanya (1990) was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She studied Genetics at the University College London in the UK. After spending a year in New Zealand at the University of Auckland and completing her Masters in Evolutionary Biology, she returned to Sri Lanka to be closer to her family and home.

She's been working in research and development and communications roles since to help businesses take strategic action to be a force for good. Her background in evolutionary biology makes her process-oriented and outcomes-focused. And her mission to help organisations be a part of the solution rather than the problem makes her a committed team member dedicated to helping the Foundation drive meaningful change.

Donate here