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.
Five 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 ground team, who are volunteers living in the camp. They help us as teachers and translators. We put people and their value above the value of systems. We see people and make sure they are seen.
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, Greece and in Eastern Europe. Without them we would be nowhere.
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 2022 annual plan and our past annual reports here.
View all our vacancies
Do you want to make a difference? Then take a look at our voluntary and paid vacancies and join our team.
MHPSS Volunteer Athens
Are you a social worker, psychologist, psychotherapist or certified in (ortho)pedagogy? Then come join our MHPSS mission…
Support Crew Lesvos
Would you like to welcome our patients and support the volunteer teams? Then join us as a support crew volunteer on Lesv…