About us

Boat Refugee Foundation specialises in medical and psychosocial emergency aid - from person to person. We are there where systems become inhumane and compassion is lost.

How it started

May 2015. The photo of the girl with the pink skirt, floating in the Mediterranean Sea. It touched Annerieke and René Berg so deeply that they had to do something. Many others also want to do something with their powerlessness. This is how Boat Refugee Foundation came into being, just like that, from a kitchen table in their Dutch hometown Zeewolde.

Nine years later, the situation on Lesbos is still as distressing as in previous years. Thousands of people are stuck in an overcrowded camp with a great lack of basic facilities. Every day we experience how great the distress is and how much our help is still needed.

Faith in people

At Boat Refugee Foundation we prioritise people over borders. Compassion is our driving force. We convert the indignation from which our foundation arose into positive action and practical solidarity.

We never see people as numbers and treat them as equals. We work closely with our interpreter team, who are volunteers living in the camp. They help us as translators. We put people and their value above the value of systems. We see people and make sure they are seen.

Our team

We have eight employees in the Netherlands. In Greece we have a rotating team of four coordinators. In addition, we are continuously assisted by an enthusiastic team of permanent and temporary volunteers, in the Netherlands and Greece. Without them we would be nowhere.

Meet the team


Boat Refugee Foundation strives for the highest degree of financial integrity. We are a recognised public benefit organisation in the Netherlands (‘ANBI’ status) and are transparent about our income and expenditure. View our annual plans and our annual reports here.

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Frequently asked questions

Do you have a question about our work, our views or how you can help? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

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