Somewhere over the rainbow

The Rainbow Tree Foundation International in a child refugee camp in Greece

Do you know the song Somewhere over the Rainbow? I think it’s one of the most hopeful songs that is ever sung in this world. This song came back to me when I met the people of the Rainbow Tree Foundation. The Rainbow Tree Foundation, a Foundation in the Netherlands, was created more than 25 years ago, based on a story told by a little girl of five years old. Her name was Holly.

The Rainbow Tree Foundation
One night she fell asleep and she dreamt about a forest full of rainbows. There were elfs, leprechauns and many animals. She was dancing there in her red shoes. At the same moment the nurse who took care of Holly had the same dream: she saw Holly in the rainbow forest! The next morning the nurse ran into the hospital to tell Holly about the dream she had and when she entered her room and started talking, Holly looked at her and she said… “Yes, I know about that place. We were there together last night. I saw you and you saw me”.

A couple of days later a friend of Holly came to the hospital with a rainbow tree. He created it himself to support Holly in her mission to get well soon. When Holly saw the tree she thanked him and said “You are great, but I don’t need the tree. I know where my rainbow forest is, but I would like to ask you to bring this tree to all the children in the world. They need to know what I know. So that they will have their own Rainbow tree as well”.

Child refugee camp
When my friends heard about the story they decided to create the Rainbow Tree Foundation in the Netherlands. From that day they started visiting children in the hospitals. Until today they have seen more than 100,000 children. That’s huge. And the mission goes on and on. I discovered the world of the Rainbow Tree Foundation a couple of years ago and from that moment we work closely together.

Last year we went to Lesbos to visit children in refugee camps to bring them dream blankets. This experience inspired us to expand all over the world, in all areas where children are and need us most. Resilience and safety are the most important things a human being in trouble can rely on. And you know what? The cool thing is, that safety and resilience are already inside you. The things you long for, the things you wish, they are already present because you are present.

Train your mind and your heart
Our mind and our heart can do amazing things if we give ourselves the space to use head and heart to do them. If we stay in fear, doubt and anger, the mind blocks the road to our heart and we build a big wall around it. And if we train ourselves and, thus, the mind to be open, calm down and work in terms of love and compassion you will see that the world will be full of new and endless possibilities.

If your bed could fly…
And that brings me to the little girl of eleven years old I met in the hospital. Although she had dark skin she looked very pale and could hardly keep her eyes open because she felt so badly. But she wanted us to stay and wanted to have a small chat with us.

She told us that she wants a horse because ‘my mom had one, my sister has one and... I will have one. It's in our DNA to have a horse". She smiled. "But first I have to get better, because they amputated my leg and I am waiting for the prosthesis". Nearly proud she showed what was left of her leg and how they installed a temporary leg for her. "Let's not worry…I am as big as two universes", the girl explained to us. "I will get over this and in the meantime I will just dream about it, because if my bed could fly to the other end of the rainbow, there would be a horse waiting for me and I would ride his back".  

And so we can... all of us... where would you fly to if your bed could fly?