I am Marieke van Asten, and I am a passionate, creative go-getter. I also love children, and strongly believe it’s necessary for all children to explore and develop their own unique creative abilities. Creative skills could benefit them all throughout their lives, helping them to grow as people, face life’s difficulties, and ultimately help make the world around them a much nicer place to live.


In 2010 I travelled to Costa Rica to do some volunteer work at a rural school in the mountains. It was an amazing experience, one that actually sparked my desire to leave the Netherlands and make a difference in the world. Following my work in Costa Rica, I met a man from Dominica; I travelled to Dominica for the first time in 2011, and have returned every year. Although the romance didn’t last, my love for Dominica grew stronger with every visit; and 6 years later I find myself living here. Dominica is also known as ‘The Nature Island’ because of its stunning, unspoiled natural beauty; this beautiful island, its friendly people, the warm climate (and the wonderful food) have made me feel right at home!


Ever since my trip to Costa Rica, the idea of working with children creatively was always at the back of my mind; and living here in Dominica, I’ve found the inspiration and the room to provide a space for children to express themselves creatively. Due to a lack of resources and funds, most children only do a very limited amount of creative work in school here. Most schools are primarily focused on academic knowledge and skill. After Hurricane Maria completely devastated the island of Dominica in September of 2017, I can see a great need for the children here to have an outlet to express themselves. Exploring their creativity will help them face adversities throughout their lives; whether it be another natural disaster, or a difficult situation at school or at home. The ability to express themselves creatively provides them with tools to help build up 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 safe space for children between the ages of 6-12 years old with the idea of inspiring each child to feel free to explore their creative abilities through various different methods and media, including (but not necessarily limited to): arts and crafts, music, dance, photography, writing and story-telling. I intend it to be a warm, inviting and inspiring environment for children all levels of creative ability, and warm meals will also be available.


Our vision for the Breadfruit House Foundation, is to offer the children of Dominica a warm, inviting and inspiring and safe environment designed to encourage their creativity. It will also be a place where children can develop their social skills, build character and develop emotional resilience.


The Breadfruit House Dominica Foundation is registered with the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands with registration number: 69880964

The Foundation’s board:

Marieke van Asten

Marieke van Asten

Chair & founder

Jacqueline Pieters


Pamela Vermeulen