After 20 years of running a market research consultancy and 6 years of voluntary work in the refugee sector, Anneke took an MA at SOAS specialising in ‘humanitarianism at home’ and the private practice of hosting refugees and asylum seekers. She set up Host Nation in Spring 2017, which makes it easier for others to befriend asylum seekers. Anneke realised that there were many ordinary people, like her, who want to help and offer friendship, but don't know how. Host Nation provides a simple mechanism for bringing citizens and refugees together in local communities through small acts of kindness, hospitality and companionship.
Anneke first worked with refugees as a volunteer through ICRC in refugee camps for Vietnamese boat people in SE Asia back in the 1980s. More recently Anneke has been a volunteer member of staff at Freedom from Torture (formerly The Medical Foundation). Host Nation was inspired by Freedom from Torture holiday scheme where approx. 100 clients, which Annek co-ran, her research for MA degree dissertation and her involvement in co-founding Camden City of Sanctuary, a grassroots refugee support network.