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African Friends is an international group of non-paid volunteers raising funds for children in South Africa who, as a result of Aids/HIV, live in wretched circumstances.

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One of our methods for generating the required funds is by selling ornaments which are made in South Africa.

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Haarlems Dagblad

Looking for volunteers

From "Het Haarlemsdagblad (haarlemmermeer edition)" Amy Galatà

The Dutch are generally regarded as people who do a lot in the foreign aid sector. There are many large organisations in the Netherlands that are able to raise a lot of money for the poor. Supporting such organisations makes you feel good. But there are many small organisations that also do very good work, such as African Friends. Due to the fact that this organisation is small the volunteers see direct results. That gives enormous satisfaction.

African Friends is an international group of non-paid volunteers raising funds for children in South Africa who, as a result of Aids/HIV, live in wretched circumstances.

African Friends’ aim is to support small-scale projects that have evolved from initiatives of the local community and which do not as yet qualify for Government support.

Frederike Visser is the initiator of African Friends. Her husband, Roger Macquet, is the owner of the Champagne Sports Resort. Through him she met the leader of the local community and he showed her the many vagrant children. Most of these children’s parents had died as a result of Aids. The local community was very keen to do something itself for these kids and not be over-ruled by large organisations or other do-gooders. As the local people lacked the knowledge to achieve this they called in the help of Frederike and Roger and so the idea for African Friends was born. The basic assumption of African Friends is that projects are effected independently by and for the local community and that they bear the final responsibility. Frederike and Roger guide and coordinate the projects and strive, together with the University of Durban, to place the final responsibilty with the South African Government.

Frederike noticed how creative African women were. As a result, she conceived the idea of getting them to make ornaments and African Friends broches by hand. Frederike paid them for this work, thereby giving them their own income. In Holland the ornaments were sold for double the price. The total revenue is invested in the African Friends foundation.

This money and other donations is mainly spent on the purchase of food, on medical expenses, clothing, schooling, furnishing, kitchen implements and toys, but also for providing vegetable gardens and sanitary facilities. One Euro is enough to provide food for one child for a day. The projects are located in areas where the Aids prevalence is 60 to 70 percent among girls and women between the age of 12 and 55.

The board of African Friends, made up of Ellen Daams, Jan Gerus and (since recently) Ineke van der Gugten put in a lot of work but more volunteers are needed to take on a number of activities; such as the sale of ornaments, website management, ornament design, or a position on the board. So, to sum it up, anybody who can actively invest their time is really welcome. Get in touch with African Friends by email at


is a home for Aids-affected children, to the south of Durban. It was started by Raymond Madondo and a local committee in response to the traditional and local leaders’ request to enable these children to be cared for within their community rather than be sent away from their areas to formal children’s homes. There are no homes in their direct areas.