Harrie van der Meeren

Initiator

I’m Harrie van der Meeren, and I’ve worked for almost 30 years as a dermatologist at the Maxima Medisch Centrum in Eindhoven and at the Boxtel location of the Jeroen Bosch Hospital. Since 2004 I’ve been teaching dermatology at the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidade Catolica de Mozambique in Beira. In that period, we’ve seen over 300 doctors qualify.

Most of these doctors come from the higher urban social classes. We set up the Doctors for Mozambique foundation to give poor people from rural areas the chance to become doctors too.

Gitta van der Meeren

Initiator

My name is Gitta van der Meeren, medical analyst and educator. I am married to Harrie van der Meeren and we have four grown-up children and one grandchild. Since 2006 I have been travelling to the Catholic University in Beira, Mozambique, three times each year to give lessons in microbiology. Each visit lasts two months.

Motivated by the enormous burden of disease in Mozambique and the severe shortage of doctors there, Harrie and I decided to set up the Doctors for Mozambique foundation. This would not have been possible without the huge contributions made by our mega-enthusiastic board members and other volunteers.

My role within the foundation is to select and supervise our scholarship students. My knowledge of the Mozambican culture and language help me to provide each student with as much support as possible in their studies, so that they emerge after seven years not only as qualified doctors but also as social-minded, committed individuals and colleagues. Quite a responsibility, but so rewarding.

 

Pauline van Empel

Board

My name is Pauline van Empel-Rooijackers, and I chair the board of the Doctors for Mozambique Foundation. I used to work as a bank manager.

The initiators, Gitta and Harrie van der Meeren, approached me in 2008 and asked me to consider fulfilling this role. The foundation was set up in March of that year, and I was involved from the very start.

What appealed to me straight away was the fact that our foundation offers the country structural support and gives poor but talented children a chance. It was – and still is – a fantastic challenge to play a part in the achievement of this goal.

 

Perry van Bekhoven

Board

My name is Perry van Bekhoven. I have been the foundation’s treasurer since 2012. I’m a registered accountant with a busy practice. I have lots of clients, including local SMEs in various sectors that come to me for financial advice. We have four children (three boys and one girl) who take up plenty of our time and energy, but I think it’s important to also be open to other people in the world whose circumstances are very different, like the population of Mozambique. There is a need there for structural improvement of the health care system. To my mind, that’s a basic need that local young adults should be working to meet. I think it’s important for the foundation to have – and maintain – a solid financial basis. No money is wasted, and each year we are able to support more new students.

 

Mariët Jonkhout

Board

I’m Mariët Jonkhout. I was born in 1965, and much of my energy goes into being a mother to my son and daughter. I also work as communication advisor in a large hospital, and I have my own text writing bureau, as well as having a strong affinity with the work of Doctors for Mozambique. In 2012 I was asked to join the board because of my expertise in the field of communication. I soon grew to appreciate the students in Beira. Despite very limited means, these young people are striving to attain their goal, namely to qualify as doctors and serve their fellow-Mozambicans. It feels good to be able to do my bit to help. And it reminds me not to take my privileged lifestyle for granted.

Leo van de Sande

Board

My name is Leo van de Sande. I was born in 1951 and I live in Nuenen with my wife Mieke. We enjoy spending time with our children and grandchildren. Alongside my professional activities as a business consultant and coach, I want to make a more direct contribution to society. I met Harrie van der Meeren in 2007, and he told me about his work in Beira, Mozambique via the Dermatology Foundation, and about the work his wife Gitta does there. His enthusiasm was contagious. We felt that there were so many opportunities, and that it must be possible to do more. A few months later, early in 2008, the DfM foundation was set up and I found myself in the role of the treasurer. Since 2012 my main tasks on the board has been linked to activities and fundraising.

Els van de Looveren

Webmaster

 

Joop van de Looveren

sponsorship

 

Coby van Stipdonk

Ambassador