Our Founder

How a Dutch TV-professional changes lives in Southeast Asia.

More than a decade ago, Sallo Polak was a highly respected professional in the Dutch television industry where he was a successful floor manager for many popular national TV programmes. After more than 15 satisfying years, Sallo felt it was time for a career change. He wanted to follow his heart and fulfil his strong desire to help make a better world for people living in the most vulnerable situations.

In 2006 this decision brought Sallo to Southeast Asia, a region he was drawn to since his teenage years, when he went on an adventurous trip traveling overland from The Netherlands to India. It was a long and beautiful journey but also a confrontation with devastating poverty. The desire to help and improve the living conditions of people exposed to such poverty planted the seed for Sallo’s career change and consequently a radical change in lifestyle. 

The inspiration behind Philanthropy Connections came to life…

When Sallo arrived in Southeast Asia in 2006, he volunteered for a small charity in Thailand. Sallo reflected on the general impact and effectiveness of development projects and concluded that the main challenge of small, local organisations is their limited access to funds. They simply lack the time, knowledge and network to find financial support for their community-driven projects. This often results in the failure or cancellation of these valuable initiatives.

Sallo was committed to change that situation and founded the ‘Philanthropy Connections Foundation’ in 2011 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The main goal of PCF is to ensure funding for projects that truly support people in need. To achieve that, PCF connects local project initiatives with sponsors who want to support deserving and (cost) effective small-scale projects. PCF aims to break the poverty cycle, provide sustainable solutions and create opportunities for marginalised people by fulfilling basic rights and essential needs such as education, health and nutrition, sanitation and inclusion of people with disabilities.

Within just a few years Philanthropy Connections had already proven its effectiveness. What started as Sallo’s personal desire and commitment to make a difference for people in need, has evolved into a well-established foundation. PCF supports disadvantaged communities in three countries (Thailand, Cambodia and Burma) and a large group of beneficiaries, which is still growing. [find a full list of projects PCF supports here]

Although Philanthropy Connections is founded and led by Sallo, the achievements are credit to the entire team. Sallo is incredibly grateful for the constantly growing support from dedicated donors, volunteers, staff members and other supporters of PCF.

If you feel inspired by our vision, we invite you to support our work in promoting social change and creating greater opportunities. Be assured that your support will make a significant difference in the lives of those in need as it will directly empower disadvantaged people to build an independent and dignified life. Support Now

Every journey starts with a single step…

Marginalised communities that seem futureless now, will be able to define their own next decade if we give them the right tools today