Team Nederland

Francine Simons-Hendriks


My name is Francine Simons-Hendriks (18-2-1947) I have studied at the Open University in Heerlen and got my  Masters in Psychology,  Work and Organisation. My last job was at Zuyd Hogeschool as advisor Personal and Organisation. Now I am retired.

Since my retirement I concerne with volunteerswork. In 2012 I went together with my sister in law to Gambia and were confronted with the big poverty in the country. When we came home we have established a foundation, looked for sponsors and donated first a touristcar to a guide, founded a sewing place by a tailor for the local people and at least we build a school in Brufut Nema.

In May 2018 we have tranferred our foundation to Geri de Lange-Mes. Together with her husband Bas they continue the foundation with a lot of enthusiasm and succes.

In Okober 2016 I have established, together with the chairman Ebrima Jatta, of the foundation Casa-Gambia, a foundation in the Netherland, named Casa-Gambia-Nederland. The both foundations work together and have the same purpose namely to bring Gambia to  a higher social level.

We do this by improving and accessing to:

– education

– healthcare

– agriculture

– sport

At this website you can find all our activities and results.

Pim de Bokx

Foto Pim de BokxMy 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. pim[at]

Patricia Whyte (8-6-1947)

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

    Jaap was born on 11th March 1950 and he is a fan of CASA Gambia because of their direct way of working for a long time. 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 

Nico Hollander

Nico Hollander, born in 1950 in Rotterdam. Nico grew up with the reconstruction of the ruined city. After high school and conscription at the Naval Film Service he studied Transport economics in Rotterdam and Utrecht. With great pleasure he worked as a transport specialist in the hectic world of the Port of Rotterdam. At a later age, Nico studied pastoral theology at Tilburg University in his spare time. He chose the field of spiritual guidance. His attention was focused on relieving the yoke that everyday life can put people on the shoulders. Often those are shoulders, which cannot carry much. Nico worked with people in disadvantaged situations in Twente and youngsters in the middle of the country. He also participated in a social consultation in Hilversum. There he mainly supervised people in debt relief. The sick and the patients had his attention too. He has lived in the Gambia since the summer of 2016. His great hobby is sailing. That is why you find him in the summer months on the Zeeuwish and Frisian waters and of course at the Wadden Sea. In Gambia He is committed to empowering young people, he works as a counselor in the psychiatric hospital Tanka-Tanka, he is associated with various foundations, including Casa Gambia and he visits Dutch prisoners on behalf of the Stichting  in The region, from Mauritania in the north to Guinea-Bissau in the south and Cape Verde in the west.

We are pleased to introduce ourselves as newest team members

Jan & Marjan Schins

We are Jan (31-12-1958) and Marjan (14-5-1959) Schins, a couple living in

Spaubeek, South Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands. We have 2 sons who live in the same village as we do, with their partners and children.
We have both been out of the labor market for a long time, but we still feel good enough to contribute to a better world. Our door is always open for someone who needs a listening ear or a healing.
We organize monthly meditation/meeting evenings, the proceeds of which always go to a charity. For years we have been working behind the scenes for children from Curaçao, Pakistan and for some time also for Casa-Gambia.
Now the time has come to step forward and we are happy to support
Francine Simons
and with that the Casa-Gambia foundation.
We are looking forward to a fruitul collaboration!
Greetings Jan en Marjan.

My name is Fatou Marrie Touray, I am a Gambian, and I currently live in The Netherlands. In May 2021 I obtained my BS in Business Administration from Webster University Leiden Campus, The Netherlands. I am currently looking forward to pursuing my masters in areas related to Entrepreneurship, Environmental sustainability and innovation. I am quite enthusiastic about adding value to society in every small way possible such as, empowering women, social development, sustainability and growth.

From August 2020 until now, I have been working on launching a project called Go Green Gambia, which focuses on the Agriculture industry(Horticultural production and marketing in The Gambia) and it targets key activities such as Women employment, food security and sustainable community development.

My motivation joining casa Gambia is the simple reason of the humanitarian gesture behind the concept of the Organization; what it stands for and what it stands out to initiate and build. There is nothing more important to me than working with people or an organization that works for a greater purpose for the greater good of humanity.

My name is Geri de Lange-Mes (11-01-1954). My interest in other countries and their inhabitants started when our children were small. Reason: We wanted to provide a safe place for children from problem families in addition to our own two children.

So, over the years, children from different backgrounds came to live with us for shorter or longer periods of time. We got to know Moroccan, Cape Verdean, Antillean and other cultures. When the children had all gone to school, I decided to continue studying. After obtaining a higher vocational education in social work and services, I worked as a child welfare worker in Rotterdam in many families of migrant origin.

Later, I became a parenting coach in these families, until my retirement.
In my spare time, too, many of my activities were child-related. When I stopped working, I decided to do something different. Because I was already writing for various magazines, it was logical that I would choose something with language.

In the meantime, I have been a language coach for several newcomers to the Netherlands and I am also a language support worker at a school for persons integrating. This way, I am still confronted with other cultures.

In 2017, I came into contact with the Floortje voor Fatou foundation, which was looking for someone to take over the foundation. After a trip to the Gambia, with Casa Gambia board member Mrs. Simons and her sister-in-law, then still the board members of Floortje, my husband and I decided to take the plunge. Since then, Gambia has been in my interest.
That is why I said a resounding ‘yes’ when Mrs Simons asked me if I wanted to become a board member of Casa Gambia. I have discovered that you can achieve a lot with enthusiastic people!