Third Culture Kids Will Change the World

I first stumbled on the term third culture kid about a year ago, but ever since, I’ve felt like I finally found something that described “me”. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. My experience growing up and assimilating to different cultures and feeling “alien” was finally validated. Other people like me go through the same thing. It’s a third culture kid phenomenon.

A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background. ~David C. Pollock

Third culture kids come from a cross-cultural background. Because of this, they have the ability to bridge cultures and act as ambassadors. They are positioned in a way to shift cultures. They are positioned in a way to change the world.

I’ve always believed third culture kids have the excellent potential to change the world by building bridges, but I never saw this first hand in action until I met Francis Varga.


Francis and I first bonded over being third culture kids. Like me, he was born in Cebu, but grew up abroad. Where I went to the USA at age 3, he went to Germany at age 6. He came back to the Philippines during the beginning of the year to rediscover his cultural roots and used it as a homebase while he traveled other parts of SE Asia. If you know my story, then his should start to sound familiar. He lived in SE Asia for a year and went back to Germany just a week before the big Typhoon Yolanda (internationally known as Haiyan) hit.

With his healthy network in Berlin, and his passion to help the country of his parents from the devastating destruction of mother nature, Francis decided he would start a blog to collect donations and write a petition on for the two biggest cookie companies in Germany to donate 1,000,000 Euros or 1,000 tons of energy cookies to the Philippines relief efforts. This was the perfect marketing campaign with Christmas just around the corner. A win-win for both the companies and the Philippines.

His campaign went viral and soon was picking up media attention in Germany, and scheduled interviews. In one week, Francis will return to the Philippines to help volunteer his time, purchase supplies from the donations on his blog, and deliver the relief goods to critical areas of Cebu. While most news media is only covering Tacloban, the hardest hit city, there are still many smaller communities in Northern Cebu that have been completely wiped out and need help as well. Media coverage will start to taper off but there is still much work to be done, and a constant need for help.

Using his authentic story as an emotional connector, with his perfect background in two cultures, Francis became the posterchild for a good cause. He became the cultural bridge between two nations he is both rooted in, and the cultural ambassador for the Philippines in its time of need.

This is one example of how third culture kids are changing the world.

I do it in subtler ways. In supportive ways. Through intentional living, through words, my writing, and my own platform.

If you’d like to donate to Francis’ cause–to our motherland’s cause–and support the Philippines, the donations will be go directly towards helping the survivors in critical areas and we will be volunteering and updating our blogs with the progress.

Donate via my Paypal account, which I will directly forward towards Francis’ fundraiser:

Janet Brent

Janet is a graphic/web designer for indies in the holistic and creative arts. She is passionate about working with creative world changers and showing people how to march to their own beats. You can email her at to introduce yourself or work with her. If you enjoyed this, sign up for more updates. TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

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  • Vishnu

    Glad you’re doing ok, Janet, and weren’t affected. My thoughts are with the many families affected and prayers with those who died in the typhoon.

    You third world kids are changing the world! Through your creativity, passion and connection to the homeland! You’re definitely more connected to the Philippines than I am to Malaysia:)

    Anyway, so glad you wrote about the work that Francis is doing and how he’s actively contributing to the relief efforts! Very inspiring and glad he’ll be bringing some help & aid to the smaller ignored communities which were affected.

    • Janet

      Thanks V! And aren’t you a third culture kid too? Haha, I guess I’m/we’re both third culture kids AND third world kids 😉

      I’m totally inspired and impressed by him too. So awesome!!