Merel is a daughter of two fathers and one mother, but Dutch law interprets the family narrowly, with a maximum of two parents. Therefore Merel wanted to explore whether this narrow interpretation of ‘the family’ matches definitions of the family outside of the Netherlands. Merel started her Action Project in the summer of 2017. She and her father left the Netherlands for Tajikistan by car to meet families along the way for her Action Project and to find out who they saw as an indispensable part of their family. On their way they crossed Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan with the Pamir Highway as the highlight in Tajikistan. The Pamir Highway led through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, and Poland.
Her goal? To meet families along the way and find out who they saw as an indispensable part of their family.