Friends of Africa Foundation

Board

Stichting Vrienden voor Afrika has a board in the Netherlands and, by the end of 2022, one in Malawi as well. By that time, the board will have a total of 17 people. This is a fairly unique concept that has many advantages. Online meetings take place almost every week, which keeps the lines short and allows for quick responses. The board in the Netherlands consists of 8/9 members. Since 2021, a board has been established in Malawi. They are happy to introduce themselves to you.

Matthias van Lummel

Matthias van Lummel

Board member and PR

Matthias is an imaginative, committed and steering person with great adaptability who perceives the world by letting things happen and experiencing them. His preference for excitement and direct communication is reflected in visible results. Matthias has been a board member since 2017 and actively participates in the work at Friends for Africa, because he wants to invest his knowledge, skills and time in the further development of his loved ones. His profile fits perfectly with the ambitions of Friends for Africa, where every position is of great importance for the continuity of development work in Africa. The projects carried out and the results achieved make Matthias want to continue to dedicate himself, because so much positive energy is released when you are working on the future for others and can really make a difference.

Rody Koelewijn

Rody Koelewijn

Board Member-Chairman

Rody is a fighter for equal opportunities for every child. He has an eye for everyone on the board, both in the Netherlands and in Malawi. The chairman, born in Spakenburg, shows that governing is a matter of the heart and hands. Being a servant leader with a great passion for God is what he stands for. He does not go for short-term success, but as chairman seeks structural solutions. Together with the team, they offer the inhabitants of Malawi the opportunity to develop themselves into well-founded and sustainable communities. According to him, education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.

Peter van Halteren

Peter van Halteren

Board member

Peter is a true entrepreneur. He is currently the owner of foundation company Sterk bv that specialises in ground and water retaining constructions. Sterk is also the reason why Peter came into contact with Vrienden voor Afrika. The company has sponsored the foundation for many years. After a few years Peter became very curious about the work of Friends for Africa and he and his wife Marian went to see a number of projects. They were so taken with the visit that Peter wanted to do more. He is currently an advisor to the board. He feels that the self-activity and self-reliance of the population is particularly important. Accessible education and being able to grow food for oneself fits in perfectly with this vision.

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Cees Hopman

Board member

Apart from 'Friends for Africa', Cees was also involved in founding Heinen & Hopman and the Salor Group, which still requires a lot of time and energy. In the initial period, we filled the position of treasurer which was taken over by Rick Heek in 2015. Many projects have been carried out for 'Friends for Africa', lately we have been involved in the new projects of the young board as a regular board member without a position. We hope to be able to contribute to the projects for many years to come.

Cees is not only involved in this foundation, also because of his efforts at home and abroad, he has been awarded the Order of Orange-Nassau in mid-April 2022. As a foundation, we are very proud of this!

Ro-Ann Koelewijn-Koops

Ro-Ann Koelewijn-Koops

Board member, Projects fundraising Netherlands and Social Media

Ro-Ann is a woman with a big heart for children. Working as a pedagogical assistant, she cares for young children on a daily basis. She shows that safety and love are the basis for a healthy development of every child. A mother's heart for all children who come her way. In 2017, she travelled to Malawi with her husband, Rody Koelewijn, the chairman of Stichting vrienden voor Afrika. She was moved by the equal opportunities for every child. She dedicates herself daily to fundraising in the region, because without income, there is no support for the children. She keeps hoping and building for a better world. Every child makes a difference!

Evita Heek

Evita Heek

 Board member - Secretary and Social Media

Evita is an enthusiastic and passionate board member. With her eye for detail and for her loved ones, her role within the foundation is that of secretary. She also posts all photos and videos of the contacts in Malawi on the social media. In daily life, Evita is a teacher at a regular primary school. Her motivation to do voluntary work for the foundation is to make a difference for children. Children are the future, and currently there is a lot of inequality of opportunities within Malawi. The foundation makes education possible for children who previously had no school in their neighbourhood. She finds the happy faces of children going to school for the first time priceless. This is what drives Evita to work for Friends of Africa.

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Hans Segers

Board member

Hans Segers, born and bred in Rotterdam. Retired since 2016 after a working life in many positions at the globally operating electrical engineering concern ABB and as entrepreneur/owner at KWx, a trading company in electrical engineering material.
Married to Bernadette and to Feyenoord........
For years he was involved as a tutor at a primary school in the Rotterdam deprived area of Katendrecht and since retirement he has been involved with the food bank and an agricultural project in Uganda.
Besides that, I am a city guide in Rotterdam and get exercise by running, tennis, golf and cycling and, if there is time, travel to other cultures.
Through friends I got involved with Friends for Africa and the school project in Bolera, and since 2022 I have been active as the driving force behind all PR activities for Friends for Africa.
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Jan-Gerard Koelewijn

Board member

Jan Gerard Koelewijn, 67 years old and married to Corrie Hilhorst. Together we have 5 children and 8 grandchildren of whom we are very proud. Our experience with Africa is limited to South Africa and Swaziland. Here we have been on vacation in 2004 and that was a great experience. In addition to taking distant trips to all corners of the world, we love cycling vacations. In 2017 we cycled from Spakenburg to Rome, a fantastic adventure. I also love soccer, golf, cycling and skating.

Jan Gerard is the owner of an architectural consultancy and in the past was a project manager at the Government Buildings Agency. He has always had the idea of doing something for his neighbors in the poorer parts of the world. This was difficult at the time because of his work and family situation. Now that he can take it a little easier, the time has come to translate these thoughts into action. Managing the construction projects in Malawi seems a great challenge to him .

Jan Gerard gets a lot of energy from the way we make it possible to educate the children (the future of Malawi). The best method to change the mentality of these people in time is the key here. With good education and guidance, hopefully, they can look forward, in time, to a better future. The challenge now is to manage the building process well with the organisation in Malawi and to finish the construction of the primary school in Malawi in a good way,

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Zeger van Halteren

Board member - Treasurer

I am Zeger van Halteren, 64 years old and married to Marianne Hilhorst. Together we have 6 children and at this writing, 11 grandchildren. In my working life I was financial director/co-owner of a construction company (Koelewijn Bouw) and of a steel construction company (Bodu Staalbouw). Since 2020 (semi) retired and currently doing some property development and management. My hobbies are golfing, cycling, (watching) soccer and we like to go out a lot with our motorhome. In the past I have held many administrative positions with various (sports) associations.

In 2021, I was approached by the Friends for Africa Foundation to become a budget administrator to build a school in Bolera, Malawi. I gladly answered this call. As of January 1, 2023, I have also succeeded Rick Heek as treasurer of the Friends for Africa Foundation and with this I hope to continue Rick's good work by giving structure to the foundation's finances and to be able to do my bit for God's work, to give the underprivileged in our society hope for a better education and thus a better future.

Their commitment is invaluable

OUR VOLUNTEERS

Stichting Vrienden voor Afrika gratefully makes use of the commitment of many Volunteers. They are involved in many different activities. Volunteers are involved in guiding and carrying out activities in the broadest sense of the word. Their commitment is invaluable.

Volunteers often provide additional support that board members are not available for. Through their experience and training, volunteers often have a great deal of expertise.

Responsibility and agreements

Volunteer

Stichting Vrienden voor Afrika has a board in the Netherlands and, by the end of 2022, one in Malawi as well. By that time, the board will have a total of 17 people. This is a fairly unique concept that has many advantages. Online meetings take place almost every week, which keeps the lines short and allows for quick responses. The board in the Netherlands consists of 8/9 members. Since 2021, a board has been established in Malawi. They are happy to introduce themselves to you.

Board Friends for Africa

A little kindness gives life to others.

Become a friend and sign up!

Mission and Vision

General knowledge is the basis for development. Friends for Africa wants to increase the general knowledge of the young generation in Malawi, by stimulating and financing quality education at both primary and secondary (technical) schools. By improving education, the level of knowledge of people increases. When this knowledge is increased, people are better able to manage in various situations.

Completely voluntary

Vrienden voor Afrika is a foundation, established in 2002 in Bunschoten-Spakenburg. The board members of the foundation do not receive any financial reward for their efforts. The aim is to use 100% of the donations for aid in Malawi. Friends for Africa is completely dependent on donations and their volunteers. Would you like to become a volunteer? Check out the possibilities and support Malawi.

A sustainable Malawi

Friends of Africa is helping to build a sustainable Malawi. As a foundation, we have placed the primary focus on education, working with you to significantly improve the level of education. We do this by building schools, supplying school materials, transferring knowledge and actively participating in the maintenance of previously implemented projects.