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How it started: a dream at the kitchen counter.

It is May 2010. Five friends talk about their youth. During their childhood, they were lucky enough to participate in summer sports camps, have PE lessons at school three times a week, and participate in many sports activities after school. They realized how much fun it had brought them, how much it had taught them, and how privileged that position was.

Together they shared a drive to give children in developing countries the same opportunity to play sports, have fun and learn playfully. That dream became a reality in 2011 when the now registered organization “Join for Joy” organized the first sports camps for children in rural Kenya. These children dealt with enormous challenges daily during their anything but carefree childhood.

The year 2011 was characterized by extremes. One of the five friends, Michiel Löwenberg, was diagnosed with melanoma. The loss of Michiel overshadowed the year that followed. With his dedicated energy, candid humor, and cheerful character, he made an indispensable contribution to the team and the shared dream. Michiel is still the inspiring force behind the program.

Today, Join for Joy, as an international organization, is committed to making hundreds of thousands of children playfully resilient every day, positively influencing their lives and making them believe in themselves.

Michiel Schul (board), Gugi van der Velden (founder) Hannah Kooren (International Head of Operations) and Minke van Geen (Managing Director)

“'I want to help children develop their capacities, to support them in actively participating in creating their future.'”

Michiel LowenbergIn Memoriam

Playful education builds the next generation.