The origin of SPEAK Netherlands

We’ve always felt SPEAK was an amazing project. But only after moving to a new country did we truly felt the magic of this project. SPEAK Netherlands brings people together, from all places and with very different stories.


Diana Nunes, founder of SPEAK Netherlands, Amsterdam
Diana Nunes, founder of SPEAK Amsterdam

Diana Nunes

Despite being an extrovert, Diana met people who told her they’ve been here for 2 months and still haven’t made any friends. SPEAK truly makes a difference in the lives of people that are trying to build a new home in a new city.

Some people believe Dutch is a hard language (some even find it ugly!). But we think Dutch is beautiful and can’t wait to learn it through SPEAK.

We have very different stories and it’s really cool to share how we all came together.


Mathieu, Patrícia and Diana, founders of SPEAK Netherlands
Mathieu, Patrícia and Diana, founders of SPEAK Netherlands

How the SPEAK Netherlands’ team met

Diana and Patrícia were already part of the social impact movement in Portugal. They met at the Chivas Venture. SPEAK was the national winner and then came 3rd in the international competition in Amsterdam.

Diana was moving to the Netherlands for the first time. Patrícia was going back to the place she felt like home after travelling the world. Hugo, SPEAK co-founder, presented “Take SPEAK to your city” at the Chivas Venture final. Diana, that was part of the jury, asked “I just moved to the Netherlands. How can I take SPEAK to my city?“. The answer was clear.


Patrícia and Mathieu, the founders of SPEAK Utrecht-SPEAK Netherlands, in Thailand.
Patrícia and Mathieu, founders of SPEAK Utrecht

Patrícia Assis and Mathieu Reboul-Salze

The couple met in Thailand when they were both travelling the world. Though not part of their initial plans, Patrícia and Mathieu immediately fell in love and have been together ever since. Mathieu is French and he first met SPEAK when learning Portuguese to be able to talk to his in-laws. After that, he became a French buddy in Lisbon. The passion for this project only kept growing bigger. So when he moved to Utrecht with Patrícia the step was obvious: becoming a SPEAK Netherlands founder.


Pedro Tojal, founder of SPEAK Netherlands-amsterdam
Pedro Tojal, founder of SPEAK Amsterdam

Pedro Tojal

And then there was Pedro, already in love with SPEAK when he met Diana on Instagram. Pedro told Diana he had thought of opening SPEAK Netherlands, but the trio got there first. When they all met at a SPEAK event in Amsterdam, they all thought “why not make it four?”. And so there were four…SPEAK Netherlands founders!


Amsterdam, the Netherlands - welcome SPEAK Netherlands

Beginnings are better with friends

The Netherlands is a melting pot. People come here to live out their dreams. People come here because this is a beautiful country, with beautiful people, filled with amazing possibilities. But landing sometimes can be rough. Beginnings are challenging and at SPEAK we believe we can make this journey a lot more comfortable. Everything is better when friends are around. Like the Beatles said, “We get by with a little help from our friends.”

Welcome to SPEAK Netherlands!


Author: Pedro Tojal

Pedro is the one of the founders of SPEAK Amsterdam

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