Who we are
Sometimes things happen in your life that you see later were moments that defined the rest of your life. Ever had that happen to you? I have…
In 2004, I went to Bolivia with the World Servants organisation to help build a school. An encounter with a little girl in a daycare centre there led me to find out what I want to do with my life and, more importantly, what God’s plan for my life is. (For more details, see the article in Newsletter #1).
It was a search that took years. My purpose became clear in March 2011: I moved to the city of Mkushi in Zambia in January 2012, where I am working with Schola Kwenda to help set up and run the Maranatha Childrens Centre. It will be a centre where orphaned children find a loving shelter and where we work with them to build a better and brighter future.
My work will primarily involve finances, organisation and management.
The urgent need to change the circumstances in which these orphaned children live became apparent to me during visits I paid to families in the Itala district of Mkushi. Many children have lost their parents, frequently to HIV/AIDS. In many cases, a grandmother is now caring for her grandchildren.
I visited families who have no income and no food to eat. The children don’t go to school. They sleep on the ground and often share very small living quarters with a large group of people. All in all, these conditions mean that the children have no future prospects.
I would like to make a difference in how these children live. Help is urgently needed, and I can’t do this on my own. Will you help us make a difference?
Gerda den Ouden
The Umutima Foundation is headed by a five-member board. Each of the board members has a background of personal involvement in Gerda’s life. In addition, all board members have experience with aid projects in developing countries. The board’s focus is on continuing to develop and promote awareness of the Umutima Foundation and to raise funds to provide structural support for the objectives of the Umutima Foundation.
The board of the Umutima Foundation consists of the following people:
- Jan-Paul Apon – Chairman
- Mattanja Apon – General Board Member
- Erica Frèrejean – Secretary
- Rob Hartmanns – Fundraiser
- Christiaan van der Ree – Treasurer