6° Family



Spearheading the strategy, operations, fundraising and management of 6°. 


DEBBIE MIDDENDORP | Founder & Operations

Debbie was born in the Netherlands but has always been fascinated by people from different countries and cultural backgrounds. With a long history in the corporate world as a high powered Marketing and Communications executive, she challenges the status quo while aiming to set up a sustainable network that empowers, inspires and energises women to drive change.


GITA PELINCK | Founder & operations

Gita was born in Nepal and adopted when she was 3 and a half years old, by loving Dutch parents. She experienced first hand the not for profit world through her family's lifelong involvement in helping developing countries. 'Having been given a second chance', as she says, her lifelong passion and mission has always been to give something back.

With a background in International management, supply chain and project management, Gita is driven to use her experience and expertise gained in the corporate world to achieve social impact by helping women gain financial independence through providing opportunties to learn new skills.


Our Team

Making 6° possible, our team contribute ideas and support the founders in all aspects ranging from project proposals, marketing, digital presence, finance, latest trends and strategy. Without them, 6° would not have taken off with such success! 



Marco de Swart is married with 2 children, a boy and a girl. Since 2007 he has been living in The Hague, The Netherlands where he worked first for Oxfam Novib and Oxfam International and later joined the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism. Since August 2017, Marco is self-employed as an international affairs consultant. Recently Marco moved with his family to Uganda for his wife’s work.

Marco has a passion for international justice and cycling. Where and whenever he can, he tries to combine the two!



Chantal Heutink is Dutch and has worked in the corporate world for twenty years. In 2006, she followed her childhood dream and went to Kenya. She successfully established the I-Care company, developing, producing and distributing washable sanitary napkins for disadvantaged girls and women. Chantal ran this enterprise up to 2016 and has reached more than 55,000 girls and women. 
Nowadays she is a frequently asked speaker. As coach and change-maker she creates awareness and supports women to become the Leading Lady of their personal, business and work lives. 
Chantal believes in the power of women. They can become change-makers of the future by restoring the balance in themselves, the workplace and in society.
“When a woman ignites her Feminine Red Power, she will thrive and everybody benefits.”  



Ambika Lucassen is Nepali by birth and was adopted at the age of one by Dutch parents whom she loves deeply. She lost her mother at a young age but was fortunate to have her father for 15 years longer than expected due to a kidney transplant. Both of these life events shaped Ambika’s view of life: a single act can positively change a life of a person in need.

Ambika has a proven track record of 20 years as a fundraising and philanthropy advisor for International NGOs and local charities in the private, institutional and corporate sectors.

'I support 6° Academy for Women as its mission goes back to my very own roots. As a girl and woman I was given nudges by two women several times in my life. Now I feel it is time for me to pass along the power of a nudge to other women.'


Arjen Nauta | Fundraising

Arjen was born and raised in the Netherlands. He is married to Debbie and father of two beautiful boys.

He has a background in Business Administration and Education. With a long track record in business development and general management for international brands, he is always looking to open new doors and find new opportunities.

During his time living in South East Asia, Arjen saw with his own eyes the difference in people’s development opportunities and strongly believes that small initiatives to help people learn a vocational skill will make a sustainable difference in people’s lives.

'With pride and honour, I support 6° Academy for Women in their mission'


Diana Mulder | Communications

Diana is of Dutch origin and lives with her partner and son Syb in the Hague.

Debbie and Diana share a love for running, and once a week they challenge the Dutch dunes and themselves.

With experience gained in the media - as well as the education - industries, she hopes to use this experience to help raise awareness as a way to inspire people to connect and help 6°.


Daniël van Dijk | Communications

Daniël van Dijk is a Dutch national and proud husband of 6° founder Gita Pelinck.

Together they have two sons and shared passions for travel, nature, food and Nepal.

With a career in marketing and business development spanning the globe and various sectors, Daniël brings international business acumen as well as creative thinking and writing.

Daniël works for the water sector in the Netherlands as International Project Manager and is involved in water cooperation programmes in various Asian countries.


Melisse Ming | communications

Melisse is Indian by origin with a mixed race heritage. She has had the opportunity to live in 5 countries providing her with a rich exposure to different people and cultures. An experienced Change & Communications professional in the banking industry, she enjoys writing and exploring new ways to connect with people. Having spent a large part of her life in India, Melisse has seen firsthand the lack of opportunities for women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Which is why she is passionate about educating the girl child and women’s empowerment through financial independence.

Melisse is currently based in Singapore with her husband and their beautiful 8 year old Golden Retriever, Cookie.


Orapan (tuk) hongchintakul | communications

Tuk is a Thai national, and not unlike other Thai women, has a strong character and believes in the power and voice of women. She met and connected with Debbie and Melisse deeply during her time in Singapore through their post graduate studies at the Singapore Management University. The three share the same belief in empowering women by providing opportunities that lead to the ability to choose one's own life path. 

Tuk is supporting 6° in strategy and digital presence . 


Our Junior Supporters


As ambassadors of the future generation, our young supporters help us spread the word to their friends and help raise funds through the charity activities at their schools. 

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Ties (born 2008) spent his early childhood in Singapore, where he learned about the caring and sharing principle. This has become part of his DNA. At the age of five his life was enriched with the adoption of his Singaporean-Malay brother Kai, whom he loves deeply.

Ties is very open and always willing to help others. During his recent trips with his mother, Debbie, to rural areas in both India and Nepal he was deeply touched by the circumstances of other children and expressed his desire to make women’s and children’s lives better. Ties’ school will be sponsoring the first project of 6° in Nepal.

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From an early age Milan (born 2007) has always expressed his concern about the welfare of others. The fact that his mother, Gita was born in one of the poorest countries in the world made a deep impression on him.

Being part of the journey of setting up a foundation focused on improving the lives of women where he one day can become an active participant and help others makes him very proud.