Karmel International -
Enschede, The Netherlands

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.


Latest News:

29 November 2006:  Romanian government ratified the Alzheimer hospital project, Beclean (Press release in Romanian)


On 15 March, in the age of 77, the Chairman of Karmel International Romania, SŃRPATAKI JŠnos has passed away. Our foundation ows him for his diligent leadership in the demanding 15 years of building up the organization. He had unforgettable merits in faitfully supporting our projects all around Romania. We are thankful for all he did for us, and we feel with his wife and children in their mourning. We shall miss him.

1 Jan. 2006: Gedreven hulp aan een gespleten natie (Wholehearted help for a desintegrated nation, in Dutch) - Report about the projects of Karmel in Romania, in the daily 'De Twentsche Courant Tubantia'

24 Dec. 2005: Bruggerbosch helpt Roemeense patienten (Bruggerbosch helps Romanian patients, in Dutch) - Article in the daily 'De Twentsche Courant Tubantia'

8 Nov. 2005: College houdt hulpvraag Karmel tegen het licht (The Council evaluates the request for help of Karmel, in Dutch) - Article in the daily 'De Twentsche Courant Tubantia'

5 Nov. 2005: Helpers in financiele nood (Helpers in financial need, in Dutch) - Article in the daily 'De Twentsche Courant Tubantia'

16 Jul. 2005: Visit of romanian delegation to health-center in Enschede, press release (in dutch)

14-18 Feb. 2005: Several newspapers write about the visitof a Romenian delegation that will visit Enschede on the invitation of Karmel International (in Dutch): Huis aan Huis, 16-02-2023; Tubantia, 18-02-2023; Twente Vandaag, 18-02-2023

25 Jan. 2005: The first see container for Sri Lanka (In Dutch).

14 Jan. 2005: Karmel helps tsunami victims in Sri-Lanka

6 Jan. 2005: Gymnastics apparatus for school in Sacuieni (Bihari Naplů, in Hungarian)

25 Jun. 2004: Pro Urbe Tirgu Mures distinction for Hans and Janny Hoogeveen in Romanie (part 1 and part 2; in Romanian)

23 Oct. 2003:  

24 Oct. 2003: Karmel wil compleet azc kopen (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

26 May. 2003: Karmel verbijsterd (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

21 May. 2003: FC Twente: nu jullie!! (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

14 Mei. 2003: Noodhulp verkeert in zwaar weer (Huis aan Huis Enschede)

9 Mei. 2003: Hulporganisatie Karmel zelf in nood (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

10 Dec. 2002: Veel voedselpakketten voor armen RoemeniŽ (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

23 Sep. 2002: Inzameling klein huisraad voor TsjechiŽ (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

23 Sep. 2002: Hulp tegen de stroom in (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

22 Aug. 2002: Twentse steun na watersnood (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

20 Aug. 2002: Inzameling Karmel voor slachtoffers watersnoodramp (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

19 Jul. 2002: Karmel: hulpactie voor Nederlanders in ArgentiniŽ (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

16 Apr. 2002: Karmel op zoek naar goed onderhouden brug (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

15 Jan. 2002: Karmel blij met vertrek uit Losser (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

14 Jan. 2002: Karmel blij met terugkeer Enschede (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

17 Dec. 2001: Stichting Karmel keert terug naar Enschede (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

10 Sep. 2001: 'Surpriseshow' voor totaal berooide Enschedese familie (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

18 Mei. 2001: Zes trailers met hulpgoederen van Losser naar RoemeniŽ (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

28 Feb. 2001: Hulde aan vrijwilligers (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

02 Feb. 2001: Geloof vormt basis voor hulp aan Oost Europa (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

08 dec 2000: Karmel verhuist definitief naar Losser (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

08 dec 2000: 'Rampvrijwilligers geen winnaars of verliezers' (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

07 dec 2000: Stichting Karmel verhuist naar Losser (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

17 aug 2000: Dieven steken Enschedese hal hulpgoederen `per ongeluk` in brand (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)

12 nov 1999: College buigt zich over affaire Karmel (De Twentsche Courant Tubantia)