The Genesis of Foundation Masechaba

The Genesis of Foundation Masechaba

The initiative to provide essential necessities for 200 African orphans originated in 2006 through connections between “Ronde Tafel Waterland” and “Ronde Tafel Bethlehem” in South Africa. During an exchange in 2004 between the two “Ronde Tafels” organizations, the members from Purmerend in North Holland learned about the dire circumstances of many orphans in the city of Bethlehem, South Africa. Understanding the challenges faced by volunteers of Table Round 60 in Bethlehem who worked on small projects to raise funds for the numerous orphans, they realized that efforts with bead projects were insufficient.

Friends Martin Friederichs and Bert Koopman conceived the “eyeglass cord project” and jointly ensured its realization. Louise and Graham Bishop supervised the production of eyeglass cords in Bethlehem. The craftsmanship of mostly elderly African women resulted in colorful, creative, original, and high-quality eyeglass chains suitable for various types of eyewear. The expertise of Koopman and Friederichs marked the initial success of the project. With the dedication, enthusiasm, and perseverance of volunteers in both South Africa and the Netherlands, the groundwork for the establishment of “Masechaba” was laid!

Land Purchased in Bethlehem

With proceeds from the sale of African eyeglass chains in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, supplemented by donations, Foundation Masechaba, in collaboration with “Ronde Tafel Bethlehem,” acquired land. In 2009, the Day Care Center was constructed on this land.