Meet the faces behind team Join for Joy!

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.”

Derrick Okango

Sports and Play Coordinator Kenya

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“Sports makes life beautiful. Imagine a world without sports! A boring place to be! The confidence, courage, team work, mental growth, communication skills, improved good relationship with adults and peers, joy and fun that is accompanied with sports makes an individual to be full of enthusiasm. I feel good and humbled to be part of this great team Join for Joy because I am always joyful, expanded my social circle and learnt to address the real time issues with use of play. It’s amazing. Play is a healing therapy with lessons.

Mary Mutisya

Sports and Play Manager Kenya

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“Child development can not be complete without sports and play. The government has recognized this and have included physical education in the school curriculum. I am happy to be part of its implementation in schools through Join for Joy program.”

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 the 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

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“It is an honor to be able to encourage children in Uganda to come to school through playful learning. The program ensures that there is less truancy and fewer school dropouts. In addition, it tackles various social problems such as teenage pregnancy, child marriage, and diseases such as malaria. I look forward to meeting the children who are now in the program when they are adults. They look forward to a positive future.”

Mwangala Ikacana

Operational Director Zambia

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“I have always believed that the early years of our lives have a lot of influence on what kind of adults we become for our society and for ourselves. Establishing a sports and play program to help improve the quality of education for children helps to create a society that is socially aware, sane, and well-equipped to make the right decisions.”

Mirriam Nanyinza

Sports and Play Coordinator Zambia

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“Desire to inspire, educate and elevate.”

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 and goals.
The Join for Joy 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.”

Minke van Geen – Meijboom

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 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 sports and play, I have the privilege to train teachers on the importance of sports 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!”

Romée Nieuwland

Partnerships & Marketing Manager

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“The mission and intervention of Join for Joy are unique. Children are playfully stimulated to come to school and develop into independent, developed, and resilient community members. The effects of this will be felt for generations and affect entire communities. I am very proud to be able to contribute to this fantastic mission.”

Martine Beijerman

Human Rights & Impact Specialist

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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.”

Hannah Kooren

International Head of Operations / 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.”

Board of Directors

Frank van den Brink

Board Chairman

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“With our program, we offer children the opportunity to be children again and from there, we work on a solid basis for learning and development at school. Our program ensures that children become more resilient to the environment in which they grow up and with the “Joy” we offer them, we want to increase educational opportunities and involvement in various regions. I believe in education as a sustainable basis for a better future and I would like to commit myself for it. Every day we strive for a sparkle and a smile that gives hope for a better future.”

Anne Sallaerts

Board Member

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“You can play anytime, anywhere in the world, especially as a child. When children are given the opportunity to learn through play, they develop all kinds of skills, including curiosity and creativity. Essential skills to navigate a rapidly changing world now and in the future! That’s not the only reason why I support Join for Joy. I am also impressed by how Join for Joy’s projects put the child at the center and strive for sustainable development of a community.”

Jaap Kalverkamp

Board Member

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“I have three daughters myself, who have traveled all over the world, and have always been able to go to fun and good schools with motivated teachers and fantastic teaching and sports programs. I wish every child and girl could have access to this. Join for Joy contributes to that wish in an enthusiastic, sustainable and successful way. I am highly motivated to contribute to it based on my background and experience so that all children can develop themselves and learn the skills they need to survive and be happy in a rapidly changing world.”

Suzanne van Esser

Board Member

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“Sports and play bring JOY, physical and mental strength, and contribute to connection. Join for Joy works hard to program sports and play, showing the positive effects. And – in my opinion, most importantly – they do this based on the needs of the local schools. This way, Join for Joy brings an excellent sustainable addition to the curriculum. It is a pleasure to guide the enthusiastic, ambitious, and successful team of Join for Joy.”

Arie Torres

Board Member

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“In my opinion, sports is a basic need that every child is entitled to. Join for Joy fights to provide for this need and also teaches children valuable life lessons whilst doing so. I am proud to be part of this mission and to contribute to it.”

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 East Africa.”

Meike Bartels

Professor in Genetics and Well-Being 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.”

Ambassadors

Wout Weghorst

Professional Soccer Player at Beşiktaş JK

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“I became an ambassador for Join for Joy because the sport has always been very important to me as a child. I went to Tanzania a few years ago and saw that it is not evident for every child to play sports. Sport inspires, motivates, unites, and brings out the best in yourself. I am proud that I can contribute to the mission of Join for Joy.”

Rachèl Louise

Singer-songwriter

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‘Before Join for Joy, I was involved in other aid organizations over the years, and I was able to take a look behind the scenes at various NGOs. After traveling to East Africa three times with JFJ, I am completely convinced of the way they work. They look beyond today or even this year, work largely and increasingly with locals and are highly accurate in their work. They look at the different African cultures with love and spend every euro to make a difference in the lives of these children and teachers through sports and play. They bring joy back to them while also discussing essential life lessons. I am thankful that the world has organizations like JFJ!’

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

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“I’m inspired by Join for Joy because of their ability to improve education in Africa by implementing sport and play. I love the simple thought of Join for Joy with bringing knowledge to Africa. And let us just learn and appreciate the simple Joy these people have every day in life. As a former athlete I’ve experienced the Joy of moving and playing for two decades. I love to connect the children in my after-school-care with Join for Joy so we can learn from each other and all get inspired by moving forward!”