My name is Francine Simons-Hendriks, (18-02-1947) and retired. I have studied at the Open University in Heerlen and got my masters in Psychology Work and Organization. I had a job as advisor Personal and Organization at the South university in Maastricht, Heerlen and Sittard.
My motivation to want to be part of this project is the fact that I was confronted in 2012 in a very heavy way with the poverty of the Gambia. I have travelled a lot over the whole world and saw a lot of poverty. But everything at a distance. Everybody in the West has everything what he/she needs to live, but the most of us have more than that.
By a local guide with who I made excursions in 2012, I saw the real poverty of the Gambia. I was so surprised and astonished by seeing and feeling this poverty, that I felt that I had to do something, I had to help. It was such a big contrast to realize that they have almost nothing and we have everything what we need to live.
Coming home I started together with my sister in law, with who I was in The Gambia, a project to can give this guide his own tourist bus, so that he could have a better income for his family. Within 5 months we could sent a full loaded bus to the Gambia. The guide has a better live now.
After this project we established a sewing school for 10 people and asked the local tailer to teach the locals to make his own clothes. He did.
In 2014 we got the idea to build a school in a place where children have to walk a long distance to reach a school. We found good sponsors. In November 2015 we opened the school and 220 children of the environment go to school now. They are very happy with this school. This school is build by a Dutch contractor who lives and works in the Gambia. He has a team of Gambian builders who he educated by himself.
By opening a bank account in the Gambia I met Ebrima Jatta. The General Chairman of the Community Action Support Association-Gambia and chairman of Casa-Gambia-Nederland. We talked about our project and he was interested in how we do that in the Netherland. In July 2015 he came to the Netherland to study here to get his Masters Business Administration. We have invited him to do the Christmas Markets with us to experience how this works. He was grateful to encounter this.
During this contact he told about his own foundation. I was interested in this project, because I wanted to know how he wants to help developing the Gambia.
He asked me to be the chairwoman for the Community Action Support Association-Gambia to be the contact person in the Netherland. I do this with pleasure and want to help developing the Gambia.
My name is Bjarne Krottjé (2000).
My hobbies are cycling, making music and helping other people.
I am fluent in written and spoken English and Dutch.
I have been interested in computers, websites, etcetera since I can remember.
That is why I founded my own company, called Web2B1.
I made this site (Casa-Gambia) in 2016 and make some adjustments from time to time (paid).
If you would like to learn more, visit my website at https://web2b1.com.
Bjarne Krottjé | Web2B1
Pim de Bokx
My name is Pim de Bokx, I’m an enthusiastic entrepreneur since I was 14 years old with my first company in Garden design & maintenance. Since then I’ve had companies in Architecture, Management Consultancy, Interim-Management, Business Incubation, Training and Investment.
You could say I have a pioneering mind and act accordingly. I hold degrees in Garden & Landscape Architecture and Business Science. Currently I’m in Business Consultancy and Online software for managing Investment Portfolio’s via my company Pioneerz. I’m or have been involved in many initiatives (ngo and commercial) in The Netherlands, Europe, Asia and Africa. These are diverse, but share one common objective: they are all initiated to enable entrepreneurship and socioeconomic development.
I’m a regular visitor of The Gambia since 2004 when I fell in love with the Gambians that offer their smile and good tenure although they have little to come by with. Since 2004 I’ve tried to support the Gambians through personal sponsorship of several children and small investments in start-ups. During my latest PUM-mission in the fall of 2017, I met Ebrima Jatta – the main founder and general chairman of CASA – at an event organized by the association of Dutch NGO’s in The Gambia. Ebrima is an enthusiastic leader who has studied in the UK and The Netherlands that setup CASA as a volunteer driven development organization next to his finance job at a bank. His vision on how Gambians can drive the development of their own region and country is very appealing and I got convinced to join CASA as volunteer.
My contribution to CASA will be small compared to the effort the local volunteers put into it. But I look at it as a learning journey on how western volunteers, supporters and donors can back local volunteers in the drive for local development and the battle against poverty. I hope to support CASA with my entrepreneurial know-how and support their online marketing campaigns.
My name is Lieke Verrijt, I am originally Dutch (4/4/1980), but I also have a Belgium nationality. I studied in the Netherlands to become a nurse and manager in Healthcare. In Belgium I followed CSSD and elder care. I started my career in home care. Later I worked as head nurse and collaborated on a couple of projects like building a new CSSD an a home for the elderly. I also worked for the mayor of Lommel, which is a city in Belgium. I coached refugees coming to Lommel and employees of the municipality . My first visit to Gambia was in 2010. I volunteered in the Jiboro health care center. Here I also coach the manager.
Kees van den Boer
My name is Kees van den Boer. I am retired and have a lot of knowledge and experience with setting up and executing projects. I learned about Casa-Gambia as a group of well-educated youth committed to the development of the Gambian people. Growing up in a dictatorship, in the middle of normal people, they know the most important needs there are. Unfortunately they still have little experience on how to handle this difficult problem. I am here to help them to get some of that experience. I like using my knowledge and expertise to help them. I have helped them for example to set up a building project for a health centre in Sotokoi/Tintin To.
This advice has had a mutual effect. On one hand Casa-Gambia is being confronted with some difficulties of complex projects. They realised they could better start small and improve the projects as their experience grows. They successfully renovated a school in Brufut this way. On the other hand it gave me some insights on the way projects are being put up in Gambia. A lot of them are being started by good willing individuals, in a burst of a lot of enthusiasm, but a lack of cooperation. That is why I reached out to the Verenigde Stichtingen Gambia (VSG) to start an initiative to bring more structure in the projects. This way the project initiators can count on effective counselling during their start. The experience of cooperation between Casa-Gambia and me certainly helps in this. That’s why I hope that our cooperation will be a long-lasting relationship.
Early last year Ebriham was telling me about CASA Gambia Fund raising project for the Brufut Lower Basic School. I shared with him some ideas I had to for fundraising and he invited me to the next meeting. He also invited me to visit the school to see the proposed project. After attending the meeting and visiting the school, I was impressed with what the team was doing. I wanted to be Involved with the project.
Shortly after that I returned to UK and met with my previous employer, Sarah James the director of Jam Training and Education, and Mark Mckie the manager of the club. I told them about what CASA Gambia project and showed them the photos of the school. They decided to help. Mark Mckie, staff and the children discussed a few ideas. We decided on a cake sale and sponsored sports day. The children and staff made the most delicious cupcakes, key rings, and slime. It was a big hit. The parents also gave their support toward a sponsor Sports day. It was an exciting event everyone, we were so pleased with the outcome. Sarah James also bought toothbrushes and toothpaste and parents donated school supplies which I have boxed and shipped along with a set of encyclopedias.
This fundraising event raised positive awareness of great things that are happening in Africa. It has proved that you can accomplish anything with teamwork and the desire to help others in need. We are hoping this will open the door for other good things in the future.
Thank you, Patricia Whyte!
Jaap van Duuren
I like CASA Gambia because of their direct way of working. I got in touch with Ebrima. He has enchanted me with his pleasant way of interacting. Friendly and always punctual. A deal is a deal. He has brought me in contact with several people. Also with the Brufut Lower Basic School. After a guided tour through the school, our Foundation decided to do something for the school. In April 2018 we have renovated the entrance of the school and refurbished two buildings. They look like new again. The inside and outside is shining from the new paint and they have new roofs and ceilings. We also send a container full of furniture for the school and clothing plus equipment for Brufut-Health-Clinic. With this investment we developed a close cooperation. There is still very much to do, but I have the hope, that many forces will join to realize this. Everything for good education and a better future for the children in The Gambia!
Jaap van Duuren, voorzitter Stichtingchef.nl