“This story started in the Netherlands during the economic crisis of 2013. My husband Sid had his own little carpentry company that specialised in restoration of Monumental buildings in Amsterdam.
We had a good life till the crises really started and all companies started freezing their payments. This resulted in us being evicted from our house as we struggled to pay rent on time, which broke the terms of our contract. We were on the streets with 2 girls (3/4 years old) and our 2-month-old son. Sid’s parents had already moved to France and in the meantime, sorted out a place for us to rent in Lavelanet in May 2013. We packed all that we could take and left the Netherlands, arriving in Lavelanet with no idea where we were and unable to speak any French.
Sid’s dad worked for a construction company in Lavelanet and took Sid to another company to work in the design section for Airbus, SNCF and Kaufman. We were then surprised with the pregnancy of our youngest daughter Destiny, and when I was 7 months pregnant Sid was working very long days in Toulouse. This came to an end when his boss decided to keep all paychecks from all his personnel – his company had gone bankrupt. Sid was told that they had no money left to pay the workers and was let go from his job and when Destiny was about to be born, we had no money had to eat from the red cross in Lavelanet.
Thankfully Sid had appealed for social benefits and in January 2014 we received €370 on our sons 1st birthday – we cried with happiness. In the meantime, because Sid had no job, he started to focus on decorations and design whilst we taught ourselves the French language and scraped little jobs at every opportunity we had to be noticed.
We worked together from dusk till dawn with 4 kids trying to achieve our ultimate goal: to make decorations and furniture to begin a fund that would help families like ourselves financially with a fully designed ‘pay-it-forward’ system. We invest in a family to pay their debts and once the family is on the right track, they invest their part to help another family.
Our dream is coming true and we had to tell you what this means to us.”
– Denise Pradettes