Welcome to the IVC

We are an organization dedicated to the social and financial empowerment and independence of women.

Did you arrive on this page after hearing our director Marlies Pfann’s speak at the European Summit Mentoring 2022? Click here to dowload her presentation (PDF). 

Or read on for more information about the IVC and the way we implement mentoring to empower women.

Located in the north of the Netherlands and founded in 1985, we have helped a lot of women in the area find their independence by mentoring them towards paid employment. 

A total of 90% of the women who have completed all of our training opportunities  ended up finding (paid) employment.

This is how we do it:

1. The Participation ladder

A participation ladder is an instrument that is used to determine how far a person is participating within society. The ladder has several steps and starts at isolated and ends at working without help.

By measuring twice annually (once at the moment when the women starts at the IVC and once after a year), we can measure how much the participation has grown. From these results, the growth perspective can be concluded.

Alongside the original steps of the ladder, from isolated to paid work in six steps, there are activities, courses and trainings that have been placed on the ladder. These form the necessary instruments to help reach the next step on the ladder.

The current participation ladder can be divided into two parts. The first three steps are aimed at social activation, whilst the last three steps are aimed at re-integration.

2. The Participant follow up system

We see it as our task to support the woman while she ascends on the participation ladder. 

Along with placing activities, trainings and courses on the participation, all participants are placed on the participation ladder. To achieve this, a form has been created that gets filled in by the coordinator of the participation ladder, on two specific dates.

Everybody who is involved with the IVC gets placed on the participation ladder, including interns, volunteers and women who follow courses and trainings. This has created a clear view on how the progression along the participation is achieved and also how much the courses and trainings help work towards progression on the participation ladder.

Everybody on the participation ladder receives individual attention and has a personal test moment twice annually.

3: Using the Pré VPL and VPL training programmes

The Pré VPL training is an interactive training for language and presentation skills. During the training the participant will become aware of herself, the people around her, and her own abilities and desires.  The participants will playfully learn how to (re-)act in different situations without letting go of their own identity and background.

After this, the VPL training helps the woman to become aware of her competences (skills)


All participants learn how to:
▪ form a strong and close group together that helps and supports each other,
▪ rely on each other to do the assignments,
▪ react differently to situations, due to cultural differences,
▪ name and expand their network and use it to realise their dream,
▪ set their own realistic goals and achieve them,
▪ present themselves in different ways,
▪ receive important support which will help them further develop on the participation ladder

The IVC stimulates the participants to bring knowledge as well as learning. This is how the participants can be involved in activities that will help them move up on the participation ladder and bring them towards paid work, whilst they participate in activities within society. This is stimulated in different ways by means of volunteer work or internships. Participants can organise activities for the groups, so that money can be saved. The IVC also organises events within Den Helder in cooperation with her partners. The participants organise and carry out the activities with the partners.


From the first step that a woman sets within the IVC, they are constantly busy with three main questions:

“What do I want? What do I need to achieve this? How will achieve my goal?”

Reaching the goal; the neccessity of mentoring

We believe mentoring is an important element of the IVC’s success.

But is it possible to keep the standard professional in a small local voluntary organisation? And if so, how do you do it?

In order to keep the standard professional, it is very important to have a system in place to secure the IVC product. This can only be done through the transfer of knowledge.

That is why the IVC works with a mentoring system in which the teachers and activity counsellors act as mentors for those who follow them.

This means there is a 2nd model alongside the IPM in which a participant becomes the teacher by teaching other particpants. This takes a lot of time and attention and above all, a keen insight into spotting talent. This is why we start identifying talent at the beginning of the ladder.

Are you interested in working with the IVC? Feel free to contact us!

Also find us on:


Internationaal Vrouwen Centrum
IJsselmeerstraat 154
1784 MA Den Helder
Telefoon: 0223 – 634216

Onze openingstijden: 
Maandag, t/m vrijdag:
09.00 – 16.00 uur.


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