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Objectives of Karmel
History of Karmel
The recent situation
The future of Karmel

Welcome to the Karmel International FoundationWebsite!

About us...

Karmel International Foundation is a Netherlands based, internationally operating charity organisation. We provide structural help to the people in the former east-block countries.

About 90 volunteers from Enschede and its neighbourhood help our activities in our headquarters, and 300 volunteers support us in Hungary and Romania. Their activity is the basis of the structural help we have been providing in the last 12½ years, in the form of projects.

Karmel's main power lies in voluntary work. From the duch city Enschede and the surroundings about 90 volunteers, and about 300 volunteers in Hungary and Romania help the work of the foundation every day.

Karmel International's activity is based on religious background, it is an evangelical mission according to the Bible. The name Karmel International is based on the story of Elia on the Carmel Mountain as it is described in the Book of Kings


Objectives of Karmel

The Karmel International Foundation has chosen  primarily the method of structural help. This is based on a good planning and sustainable execution.

The basic task is fulfilling our motto, "The help arrives", without making the beneficiary countries dependant on it. All is based on projects, which enable the citizens of the target countries to further help themselves in a sustainable manner.



Karmel International cosists of a headquarters in the Netherlands and related independent units in Hungary and Romania. Each independent unit is coordinated by a management team. They have built relations over the borders of Hungary and Romania to the neighbouring countries, to enable the help transports reach those areas too.

The organisation scheme of the Karmel International Foundation is the following:


History of Karmel

How did it start?

In 1980, the Hoogeveen family travelled to Romania for a vacation. The country was beautiful, but the vacation was not fully enjoyable. Shocked by the poverty of the majority of the population, they decided to help these people.

But how? With the second-hand goods and articles those the people in the welfare society of the Netherlands do not need any more.

As they got back home from the holidays, Janny and Hans Hogeveen started the work up to their christian conviction. They collected second-hand clothes and other goods from their friends and acquaintances in their garage, and then transported those to Eastern-Europe. Many difficulties and dangers waited them in the isolated Romania, but the happiness and thanks of the supported people made them to forget the hardship. Besides their belief, this gave them power to continue.

The first steps were small and cumbersome in the eighties.


The first store: the garage of Hans and Yanika


The first transport to Romania in 1989

The next steps

Substantial changes happened in Romania in 1989. The borders opened up and new ways and possibilites became available. More and more requests came for help so a new organisational setup became necessary for the work. The Foundation of Lasting Relations with Romania was formed. In the same year (1989) the first three trucks left for Romania with charity transports.

The requests for help were not limited only to Hungary and Romania. Assistance was needed also in Croatia, Ukraine and Kazachstan.

Soon it became obvious that the name Romania is too much limiting internationally in the name of the foundation. A necessity arose to change the name in 1996 and this is how the recent name, Karmel International was chosen.

Karmel International wants to give the maximum help according to the possibilites to everbody who turns to them with a request for assistance. We do not consider the political or religious background of the people in need, we try to help everbody.

The core office of the foundation is in Enschede, the Netherlands. Volunteers from the group of our about 90 helpers turn up their sleves to select and sort the continuously arriving donations. They pack and arrange the goods in the storehouse for delivery.

A few examples of the goods we have in the storehouse: cloths, shoes, beds, matraces, blankets and bedcloths, cleaning compounds, small furniture, houshold gadgets, medical instruments, wheelchairs, school furniture, educational material, computers, audio and video equipment, water tanks, construction material etc. We sort them into projects according  to the requests, pack them into trucks and send them to their destinations.

Besides the international activity, we work in our hometown too: in May 2000, we assisted the victims of the fire-works storehouse explosion in Enschede. This disaster set also our own storehouse on fire, causing serious damages to the Foundation.


Preparation of Christmas packages


Flee-market organised by Karmel in Enschede

Karmel International has independent organisations in Hungary and Romania under the names of Karmel Hungary Foundation and Karmel Romania Foundation. About 300 volunteers help in these countries. The Hungarian Foundation coordinates the charity donations to Urkraine and Croatia.


The present

From 22 december 2022 to the beginning of July 2002 468 trailers of aid reached their destinations in different projects. This weights a total of 7.488.000 kg. The value of the delivered, mainly second-hand articles reaches 15 million Euros.

In 1998 the Mures-Region in Romania was inundated by floods. The complete harvest was demolished in a few days and a large part of the infrastructure was also destroyed.

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached Karmel International, asking for help. The Royal Dutch Embassy to Bucuresti took a large part of the organisation of the charity.

In July 1999 Romania was again devastated by floods and landslides. More then 235 families got into hopeless situation due to the disasters in the regions of Alba Iulia and Hunedoara. Many houses collapsed or became unhabitable, complete household goods and personal belongings were destroyed. The infrastructure was also seriously damaged. Fourty people died. The situation was very serious and chaotic: the settlements were damaged and the people faced poverty.

In September 1999 Karmel International provided quick help to 28 families, but another 210 still waited for support. As the winter (that is usually very hard in this region) approached, people were still without shelter and basic food. In these circumstances Karmel's assistance was essential for survival.

The increasing poverty does not only put a burden on the average people, but the overcrowded social institutions like orphanages, pensioner homes and hospitals are also affected. Due to the difficult economic circumstances, the Romanian govenment can provide only a limited budget to them. In the last years the nutrition in these institutions was very simple and unhealthy compared to the standards in the Netherlands. The situation is deteriorating from year to year, and nowadays even the simple nutrition is not available sometimes, so Karmel pays a special attention to these institutions.


Unloading the aid at the pensioners' home in Beclean

Recent developments:

Due to the difficult economic circumstances in Argentina, the Dutch community in Tres Arroyos, turned to Karmel with a request for help. The situation is extremely critical in the Dutch school and the pensioners' home, the only such institutions in the country. Our foundation agreed to assemble a container with aid material for them. Hereby we ask you to support the effort for the help of the Dutch community in Argentina via our regular channels



The activities of Karmel International in the last12 ½ years are summarized in the following table:

Aid, activity


Trailers 468
Goods 7488000 kg
Cloths and shoes 458640 dozen
Equipped schools 108
School furniture 16200 tables and chairs
Hospital beds 596
Desks 385
Chairs 12800
Wardrobes 420
Rollators 980
Wheelchairs 1268
Heating centres for large projects 12
Steam boiler 1
Kitchen equipment (large) 4
Church furniture with banks and organ 4
Trailers with special help for flood victims (Romania, Hungary and Ukraine) 21
Equipment and furnishing of refugee camps in Hungary 4
The largest transport (in cooperation with the Dutch military) 11 trailers
Concert tour of the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands  
Other concert tours 2
Study tours for our volunteers 4
Friendship concert with seven choirs and dance groups 1
Charity concert of Queen Anne of Romania  
Shelter for the victims of firework explosion in Enschede 630 beds
Moving of the basis storehouse from Losser to Enschede with the help of the transporters of Rijssen 32 trailers
Conferences in Hungary and Romania 2
Annual delivery and distribution of Christmas packages in Eastern Europe 12 years
Football  clubs sponsored by the FC Twente 6

A project in Latvia was completed with the help of the local Red Cross: we delivered 1 trailer full with office furniture and hospital equipment to the country.

The Lion's Club in Enschede donated a truck in 1993 and financed the delivery to Eastern Europe for three years.


The Lion's Club Enschede hands over the truck


The trailer is ready for transport...


A transport arrives to Beclean...


The future (reorganisation of Karmel)

The transformation of Karmel International into a modern, result-oriented organization which uses up-to-date technology has aready been launced. We set the goal for ourselves to create an organisation with an optimal amalgation of professional and volunteer work. We hope that the efficiency of the Dutch center will increase and a part of the activities will be decentralised into the other countries, so in this way, a stabil organisation will be formed which works with a maximum efficiency. The activity of Karmel will be extended from aid provided in disasters to supporting projects providing basis for sustainable development.


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