Our story

In the rural areas of low-income countries in (East) Africa, children often do not get the chance to enjoy physical education. Although the governments make physical education compulsory, their policy is rarely translated into practice. Teachers are not educated in the didactic skills that are required to lead sports and play activities. The knowledge about the positive impact of physical activity on the development of students is often lacking, materials are too expensive and physical development is not considered a priority.

Meaningful education means more than success in math or reading. Join for Joy supports primary schools in setting up a structural, inclusive and fun Sports and Play program to support playful learning at school.

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JOY inspires

Our driving force

In 2011, the year that Join for Joy was founded, one of the founders, Michiel Lowenberg, was diagnosed with Melanoma. Michiel’s playful character and boundless sense of humor has been a indispensable contribution to our team. Michiel considered it a privilege to have grown up with joy, love and support in his life and felt children all over the world should experience these values. His dedicated energy, razor sharp wit and happy go lucky nature made him an inspiration to work with.

In memoriam

The year 2012 was overshadowed by his loss. It is a privilege to have worked with Michiel. He will always remain a driving force within Join for Joy.

“I want to help children to develop their capacities, with the objective to let them participate actively in shaping their own future.”

Michiel LowenbergIn Memoriam
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‘Sport is a great way to contribute to the social development of children (and adults), anywhere in the world. By combining sports, games and fun, young people involved in join for joy add value to the lives of children in Kenya and Uganda’

Our Team

Ruth Mwinga

Sports and Play Coordinator Kenya

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‘I feel honored working with Join for joy as Sports & Play Coordinator. Play is the most pure product of man at this early stage. It is through play that children attain sensory awareness, creative expression, exploration of ideas and concepts, the pleasure of singing and the experience of living among others.’

Monica Chege

Sports and Play Coordinator Kenya

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“I believe play helps in holistic development of
every child, they are able to nurture their talents and explore their full
potential through play”

Hilda Mbabazi

Sports and Play Coordinator Uganda

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‘All children have the same needs and the greatest of all to feel loved. I am happy I can offer the less privileged children to experience the joy in childhood through sports and play. I believe this will continue to motivate them to stay in school and remain focused on what they have set to achieve in life.’

Boniface Byamugisha

Sports and Play Coordinator Uganda

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‘I am a teacher by profession since I joined Join for Joy l have discovered a great impact of sports and play activities in schools on teacher pupil relationship. Sports and play activities allows pupils to interact with their teachers freely. Teaching through sports and play makes learning interesting and meaningful .Children enjoy sports activities given the opportunity to practice .l believe  Join for Joy program will help children to keep motivated to stay in school and acquire various life skills.’

Javira Birungi

Sports and Play Coordinator Uganda

Sammy Thaimu

Sports and Play Coordinator Zambia

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‘One of my life’s philosophies is that I cannot pursue and achieve a dream all by myself without the help of other people. Whatever a dreamer needs is the right circle of people who will buy into their dream and support if it were their own. Hence, Join for Joy project is great for it contributes positive social change to young people in the community and transform their lives, and I am honoured to be part of it.’

Edgar Silwimba

Sports and Play Coordinator Zambia

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‘Development goes hand in hand with sports, the contribution of sports to the growth of our nation cannot be doubted. Physical education helps promote a healthy and active society. I am glad to be part of this great project and the Join for Joy family. It is my sincere hope that this project will definitely change the approach both teachers and pupils have towards physical education.’

James Phiri

Sports and Play Coordinator Malawi

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Every Child deserves an opportunity and access to sporting activities hence calls our coordinated efforts on focusing inclusiveness approaches in developing every child to reaching their perspective n goals.
Sports and Play Program constitutes an integral part in up bringing positive impact and fostering education and community development.

Kennedy Zakochera

Sports and Play Coordinator Malawi

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“I see sports as a best tool for breaking barriers in advancement of issues affecting humanity. It unifies and brings about joy and excitement. The Sport and play program nails it, as it concerns the very foundation, the learners in primary schools, the matters of development.”

Hendrik Hofstra

Marketing & Partnership Manager

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‘Join for Joy embodies everything I believe in. A positive message and an impactful Sports and play program that has the ability to change vulnerable peoples lives at places in the world where the need is most present. And that is something I find worth fighting for.’
Minke Meijboom

Minke van Geen – Meijboom

Managing Director / Founder

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‘I get very excited from the fact that children get the possibility to discover their own talents within the Join for Joy Sports and play program. They gain a lot of confidence and self-esteem, which I believe is extremely important in life.’
Meike

Meike Smit

Program Manager

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‘During my studies at the Academy of Physical Education, the importance of sports and play for a child became very clear to me.  I realized all the more that every child has the right and should have the opportunity to play. Sports and play activities in school is one of the greatest motivations for children to come to school and stay in school. Learning through play not only provides more fun at school, but also teaches the children to deal with the challenges they face every day.’

Daan Hardeman

Project Coordinator

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‘With my passion for sport and play, I have the privilege to train teachers the importance of sport for development and bring JOY to the children. Due to our sustainable program in learning through play, children are highly motivated to come to school and stay at school!’

Martine Beijerman

International Program Coordinator

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‘Join for joy offers me the unique opportunity to be part of a tangible initiative, yet so large for many African children.’

Our Board

Hannah Kooren

Hannah Kooren

Board Chairman / Founder

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‘I believe that every child has the right to enjoy childhood but unfortunately many children all over the world grow up without enjoying the fun of sports and play. With Join for Joy we aim to inspire primary schools and invite their children and teachers to experience the empowering, joyful and connecting impact of sports and play.’

Michiel Schul

Board Treasurer / Founder

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‘I hope that with our Sports and play program we can let children forget about their daily responsibilities and give them an unforgettable time.’

Elvira de Jong

Board

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“I support Join for Joy because I have seen the benefits of the Join for Joy programme with my own eyes when I was volunteering in Kenya. Sports and play are excellent tools to convey life skills to children. Besides this, it is a true pleasure to work with the ambitious and highly professional Join for Joy team.”

Our Advisory board

Annette van Andel

Network facilitator at AgriProFocus

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‘Sport is a great way to contribute to the social development of children (and adults), anywhere in the world. By combining sports, games and fun, young people involved in join for joy add value to the lives of children in Kenya and Uganda’

Meike Bartels

Full Professor in Genetics and Wellbeing at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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‘There is nothing more important than that all children in the world can be carefree and happy. In my daily research I try to find out what makes people happy. I think it’s fantastic to help Join for Joy with their wonderful mission. Together we will ensure that even more children can experience happiness and pleasure through sports and games. Wellbeing for all!

Alex Klusman

Co founder of BKB | Het campagnebureau

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‘I truly believe in the power of sport and play activities as a meaningful contribution to the quality of life of children, as much here in Europe as in Africa.

Our Board of inspiration

Nanne van der Leer

Nanne van der Leer

Founder of Lief Leven

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‘I believe we from the West too often forget to simply have fun. When I had contact with Join for Joy I thought: this is it! They help children in Sub-Saharan Africa to become more resilient through sports and play, it motivates them to stay in school and discuss difficult (but oh so important) topics, while the children teach us to dance again in Joy, out loud. Howling with laughter and being thankful for the little things. We help each other and make the world a bit more beautiful together!’

Rob Reckers

Founder of Wildwoozt

Our Ambassadors

Wout Weghorst

Wout Weghorst

Professional football player at VFL Wolfsburg

Mwangala Ikacana

Former Miss Zambia

Rachèl Louise

Rachèl Louise

Sing a song writer

Els Visser

Els Visser

Professional Red Bull Thriathlete

Angel

Angel Afrodance

Afrodance

Petit Afro

Petit Afro

Afrodance & choreographer