I am Marieke and I strongly believe that children have a right to explore and develop their own unique creative skills. These skills will benefit them all through their lives. It can help them develop as a person, make the world around them a better place and face difficulties in life.


I discovered my mission in life somewhere in the past couple of years. How? Well let me tell you. I am creative, passionate, go-getter, caring, compassionate, loving of children and adventurous.  Because of the adventurous part in me, I moved to the beautiful Caribbean Island of Dominica in November of 2016. By the way, it is not the same country as the Dominican Republic. That country is situated about 1,000 km northwest of Dominica.


Not the most obvious choice but for me the absolute right one. In 2010, I went to Costa Rica to do volunteer work at a rural school in the mountains. An amazing experience that sparked my desire to leave the Netherlands and do more with my life and make a difference in the world. After that trip to Costa Rica I met a man from Dominica, that evolved into a relationship. I went on holiday to Dominica for the first time in 2011 and every year since. Although the relationship did not last, my love for Dominica grew stronger with every visit. And suddenly my question of where to move to was answered.

So, 6 years later I found myself in Dominica, also known as the Nature Island because of its stunning unspoiled natural beauty. This beauty, the friendly people, the warm climate and the wonderful food made me feel right at home.


Ever since my trip in Costa Rica, working with children and being creative was always in the back of my mind. Living here in Dominica made me realise that there are not enough possibilities for children to explore their creativity. Due to lack of resources and funds, most children only do a limited amount of creative work in school. Of course, in schools, the emphasis is more on academic knowledge and skills. More so, after Hurricane Maria that completely devastated the island on September of 2017, the need was even greater for children to have an outlet. Exploring their creativity will help them face adversities in their lives; whether it is a natural disaster or a difficult situation at school or at home. Being creative will provide them with an ‘instrument’ and will help them (re)build their emotional resilience.

Help children in Dominica

In building the Breadfruit House, named after one of my most favourite foods on the island, I am creating a child-friendly space for children between the ages of 6-12 years old. This space will be opened to children with various abilities and will allow each child to feel free to explore their creative side through e.g. arts and crafts, music, dance, photography, writing, story-telling, etc. It will be an inviting, inspiring and encouraging place to be. A warm meal will also be available for all children in need.


My vision for the Breadfruit House is to offer children of Dominica an inspiring and encouraging place to explore their creativity, as well as enhance their social skills for character building.