A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step

In loving memory of Kees Hoogendijk (October 20, 1955 – March 12, 2012) and André Klomp (Februari 19, 1969 – April 7, 2018)

The creation and first steps of the SmartKids Foundation is the story of two friends Kees and André. With the idea to start an education project and thus contribute to the fight against poverty, they set off. With a second-hand Nissan Petrol Wagon 4WD they leave in May 2002 from Meppel to Accra. Via Spain, Marrocco along the coast through the Western Sahara to Dakar and finally arrive in Ghana a month later. They are well prepared with maps and a telephone for emergency. A diary is kept and there is regular contact with home via the internet. Something you had to go to an internet café at that time and hope that you could log in.

Kees Hoogendijk
André Klomp

Making contact in Ghana

Arriving in Ghana several cities are visited including Cape Coast, Accra and Kumasi. There is good contact with the Ghanaian Ministry of Education and research is being conducted into possible schools and there is a lot of contact with teachers. After an intensive period of time at home, work continues on a plan.

First group of smart kids
Teachers conference

The first group of SmartKids

After two years of good research and planning and the help of local people, it is in 2004. There is sponsorship and a budget to start with. After a good selection the first Smart Kids start. And with success. One of the kids around his high school even finished as the second best in all of Ghana. The idea of supporting children who do have the capacities but does not have the financial means is successful.

“If you ask me, everything is possible. If you go for it!”