The word Rafiki means "friend"in Swahili and our story was born from a deep friendship which started after a diving accident that happened in 2003 at Tiwi beach in Kenia. After it, a stranger turned into a friend and made us realize the value of how a little support can make a life changing impact on the lives that are deprived of the basic human needs.
In September 2003 we (Petra and Hans Jongenelis), we visited Kenia for the first time for a holiday. During this holiday we met a Kenian man (Juma), who invited us to visit Makongeni village. We were shocked by the glooming poverty and the fact that people hardly had anything to eat. At that moment, we decided to enable these people and lead them towards a better life.
We returned to the Netherlands and began our research to find opportunites/organisations focussed on the social upliftment of Makongeni Village. Our conclusion was that the only way to enable a social change for this village was to get involved at the grassroots. This led to the foundation, Stichting Rafiki Kenia (Dutch name of the foundation) in 2006 followed by the formation of the Rafiki Kenia Foundation(NGO) in Kenia in 2007.
Since 2006, we have pursued and fullfilled/sustained several projects including, Bed for a child, Rennovating the football field, and Doctors Post (healthcare center). Our projects are aligned to the Millennium Developement goals and aim to achieve the objectives in the social context of Makongeni village and its sorroundings. We have worked with independent organisations including the Red Cross.
To ensure that we can undertake more impactful projects, we focus on spending the funds (foundation and sponsor resources) directly on the projects. To drive and exercise executive control over the projects we travel to Kenia on our personal costs. The foundation is managed locally by our representative (Juma), who is the director of the Rafiki Kenia Foundation(NGO) in Kenia.