Harrie van der Meeren


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


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.


Perry van Bekhoven


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.


Thia de Jong-Förster


My name is Thia de Jong-Förster. In August 2021, I was approached by the founders Harrie and Gitta van der Meeren for the position of secretary within the Doctors for Mozambique Foundation. I gladly accepted their request because I wholeheartedly support the mission of the foundation, which is to train students on-site to become doctors. I believe that by doing so, we can contribute to the structural improvement of healthcare in Mozambique.
In my working life, I was first a medical analyst and later made a career switch to HRM advisor.

Mariët Jonkhout


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.

Coby van Stipdonk