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Welcome at Bouwen met Bouma’s

Which means 'to Build with Bouma's'. We are a foundation that is committed to build for the future of Zambia.


What we do

Bouwen met Bouma’s is building for the future of Zambia, literally and figuratively. A major problem in Zambia is the poor quality of education, unsafe classrooms and overcrowded classes. By building and maintaining classrooms, we ensure that more children can go to school, teachers are motivated to educate children and children can receive education safely. And for every new fully-fledged school building, the Zambian government provides certified teachers after completion. The building therefore provides better education and the national government actually doubles the value of it. You could say that every investment in Bouwen met Bouma’s has a return of almost 200%.

Since 2006, many builders went to Zambia to help with construction work. Nowadays we no longer build ourselves, but our focus is more on financing and supporting planning and constructing. And in particular on educating the construction workers themselves, so that they can work increasingly better on their own, and our physical help is not required.

That is why in 2019 Bouwen met Bouma’s found the Kaoma Trades Training Institute – which was closed due to a lack of students – willing to reopen if we provided at least 10 students.

And we found 17 students, including 5 women, who then followed a 2-year training course to become a professional carpenter.

And now in 2024, this building will be further expanded. Because the demand for and interest in good education is still high.



How it started, since 2006

One of the 13 children from the Bouma family (Nijlân, Friesland) left for Zambia in 1993 as a missionary / priest. This son, Johannes Bouma (1930), was educated at the small seminar of the Congregation of Missionaries of Marianhill in Arcen, North Limburg. He worked in South Africa for almost 25 years before moving to Zambia. In 2006, four brothers of Johannes came to Zambia to build the Home Based Care Regina House for the Kaoma community, and this is how ‘Bouwen met Bouma’s’ was initiated! In 2016 Johannes left Zambia to permanently live in the Netherlands (Arcen) again, because of his health. We continued!

The project photos show what has been done since 2006 and the development of BmB itself is also tangible.

Where we are now

Bouwen met Bouma’s has an active board in the Netherlands and an active board in Zambia. The cooperation between the two is very good. Herman Bouma has been an important driving force in the whole since the beginning. His job description ‘construction coordinator’ does not cover it all because he does much more. He is in Zambia twice a year.
Because his position is so important, Herman has recently been assisted by our new board member Gerard Schoemaker. Gerard will take over Herman’s duties when he wants to retire. This ensures continuity for BmB for the future and that is what we want.

The real power of Bouwen met Bouma’s lies in the collaboration between both boards in which entrepreneurship in Zambia is stimulated as much as possible. And we do everything with unpaid and well-motivated workers.


Our goal

Our goal is to provide financial and physical support to suitable projects in Zambia. These projects are for everyone, regardless of religion, gender or origin. To make these projects possible, we raise money, set up campaigns and recruit donors and volunteers.

We are a small foundation that intends to stay small. We also intend to operate at low cost. Of every euro received, more than 95 cents are spend in Zambia!

Result through the years

A lot has been done over the years. Bouwen met Bouma’s has already invested more than 1 million euro in Zambia. This is a large amount, but when you see what has been achieved for this amount, it is actually even more impressive.

14 schools have been built with a total of 37 classrooms. A student campus for 64 people, a mothers shelter plus three hospital rooms, a kitchen for an orphanage, an extension of a church and another community building.

And perhaps less tangible, but certainly no less important, all the social things that the local BmB board carries out independently.

Also impressive is the calculated number of student years of study received from teachers in the BmB schools. If there are 50 children in a class (according to Herman this is more) you end up with 15,400 student years. Unbelievable.

Do you join?

In addition to collections, activities are also organised. It’s quite fun to participate in this. If you are curious, feel free to come and have a look. And bring along a friend.

Make an easy and quick online donation

Donate online

Find us on Facebook


Read more about our experiences in Zambia!


Show our projects


Time for change!

In 2017 we started educating 6 people by our own builders Antoon Haagen and Piet Mous, in which they succeeded! In the latest projects we saw that one can learn a lot in a small period of time: this offers opportunities. That is why we started a collaboration with the Kaoma Training Institute by educating 17 apprentices (10 men and 7 women) to fully capable carpenters. These students made the school desks and doors for our project in Longe.

Recent projects

View all our projects here and read about the experiences of the builders that contributed over the years and of our construction coordinator Herman Bouma!

How can you contribute?

Would you like to start a fundraiser for our foundation? We highly appreciate that and we are happy to support! It’s always more fun to start a fundraiser together with others, like your colleagues, friends, association or church community! Some successful fundraisers from the past are: selling Christmas cards, golf tournament, selling second hand items, setting up a market stall on a fair or organizing a dinner.