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History


The Rhiza Foundation was founded on the 11th of May in 2010 with the purpose to eradicate extreme poverty.

The first Rhiza project was the construction of a school and a medical clinic in the Amazon of Brazil. These projects are successfully implemented and self-sustainability has been reached, because the government is now carrying the operational costs.

Because this project area was quite hard to reach (both physically as through digital means) we have shifted our focus in terms of location. Currently, we carry out projects in the townships South Africa and underdeveloped areas in Ghana.Our projects can always be categorized in one of the following subjects: education, healthcare, skills  development and enterprise development. We always use the same method for all of our projects, which is our Rhiza Cycle.

The meaning of Rhiza is roots in Greek. The reason for this is twofold:
·        Our main goal is poverty eradication. We want to develop the roots of the communities, which are the children and youth. We usually aim towards people between 0 and 35.
·        We want to approach problems by getting to the root cause of the problems and creating solutions that take this root cause away. Therefore we have a strong focus on local ownership and self-sustainability in all of our projects.

RN is included in our logo which stands for Rhiza Netherlands. Our official name is “Stichting Rhiza”. Stichting is foundation in Dutch. In the Netherlands we do not carry out projects. The main aim of the Rhiza Foundation is to raise funds for projects in South Africa and Ghana and promoting the brand awareness of Rhiza. Besides this, in the Netherlands we actively monitor progress of projects that we have raised funds for. The Rhiza Foundation has grown since 2010 from a group of enthusiastic volunteers to an international organization of which most people are active in South Africa.

Rivoningo Daycare

This is one of the children in our Early Childhood Development Centre called Rivoningo Daycare, in which children learn and receive healthy food on a daily basis.

Rhiza Netherlands

Our logo contains RN which stands for Rhiza Netherlands. Our official name is “Stichting Rhiza” (Rhiza Foundation).

Mobile Clinic Diepsloot

This Mobile Clinic is specialized in mother- and childcare. Many mothers and children are not used to receiving quality healthcare and for them this kind of treatment is a true attraction.

Township Fleva

Besides the foundation we also are making a difference through our social enterprise in South Africa called Township Fleva. The purpose of our social enterprise is to create job opportunities and employment for people in the townships and to generate income to start of new projects.


Rhiza South Africa, called Rhiza Babuyile (RB) In South Africa we have opened a local foundation called Rhiza Babuyile (RB). Babuyile means “they will come back”. This refers to the underprivileged groups that will come back in terms of having a meaningful place in society through offering opportunities for these groups to develop. Most of our projects are located in South Africa. Alef Meulenberg, the founder of the Rhiza Foundation, is now the chairman of Rhiza Babuyile and is living in South Africa. Because local ownership and involvement is crucial for our projects to succeed, Alef is not involved in operations. He focuses on fundraising and management behind the scenes. In south Africa we are mainly active in the townships around Johannesburg, but we are also moving towards other regions such as townships surrounding Cape Town. 

Rhiza Ghana Rhiza Ghana (RG) is our local foundation in Ghana. In Ghana we implement small-scale projects based on education, healthcare, skills development and enterprise development. The projects take place in the Central Region of Ghana. The projects have the common goal to provide chances to underprivileged communities to develop. Without these chances these communities are almost guaranteed to remain trapped in the poverty cycle. We provide chances through for example the construction and development towards self-sustainability in a place where education would otherwise be absent. 

Township Fleva Our social enterprise is called Township Fleva, which has the purpose to provide for employment and to generate income that can be redirected towards our foundation (mainly RB) and our projects. Self-sustainability, working together with the local community and the government is key/ In South Africa we are already having success through the sales of products to a big supermarket and the fees we receive from companies by training people from the townships such that after the training these people can apply for a job at the companies while having the right skills for the job because of the training.  

Through all of our projects, we are able to develop around 100.000 people.