Founder and driving force of all the projects in Siddartha is Father August Lauwerysen. He was born in Merksplas in 1946 and was the seventh of eight children in a farmer’s family. Having worked on the big farm for five years he joined the Congregation of the Fathers of Oostakker. He graduated as a social worker and twenty years later he was ordained a priest in Tremelo. During more than fifteen years he supervised youngster groups in their growing process and afterwards he focused totally on the education of adults. His outstanding style – playful self-confrontation mixed with a lot of energy and sound humor- made him popular as a lecturer. He was asked in every corner of Flanders.

Also as a priest he follows his authentic style: his masses are not worded with too many holy words, but with realistic incentives to think about one’s daily doings. From his religious conviction, which is not always in conformity with the official version of the Church, and from his inner power he chooses for the small and wounded people in a very determined way. In his educational method and in the liturgy he uses a simple and comprehensible approach, but self-confrontation is never far out of the way.

Over the years the spirituality of the centre has been widened and this resulted in “The Credo of Siddartha”, a text that words the values, the accents and the spirit of the organization.