'Water from the Heart'


Nam Jai                                                           
Nam Jai is not a foundation, or organization in any other way. Nam Jai is an initiative of Michael Oppatja en Rebekka Koelewijn.

This is what I do                                            
It’s our goal to support a development aid project in the country we're visiting for the summerholiday once a year.

During the months prior to my holiday, we will start to look for foundations that have projects in the country we will be visiting. Eventually, we pick one or more foundations that we will support.

By organizing different kinds of fundraisers, we raise money. Besides these fundraisers we receive donations of family, friends, acquaintances and every once in a while from a mostly appreciated stranger. After conferring with the foundation, we decide what the best purpose for our contribution is.

By visiting the projects
ourselves, it becomes clear to us what the money is spent on and gives us an opportunity to get in touch with the local people in a unique way.    

Why not become a foundation myself?                   
Just in Holland alone there are numerous foundations which organize development aid projects in a very good way. We don’t feel the need to be one of them. The concept we are following now appeals to me; offering help on a small scale to already existing foundations, which can use all the help they can get.

How it all started                                                          
On the 26th of December 2004, a part of Asia was hit by a devastating tsunami. By television and all other forms of media, Michael witnessed a disaster that had cost many lives and left a trail of damage.

Together with his girlfriend and some good friends Michael had the strong feeling that he wanted to do more than donate money alone. They wanted to help ourselves, although at the same time it felt a little naïve.

Eventually it led to the initiative which was named ‘Nam Jai’. Money was raised money and in their own way they supported the rebuilding of Khao Lak, Thailand.    

The literal meaning of the concept Nam Jai is ‘water from the heart’. It refers to sincere kindness and helping other people, without expecting something in return. In Thailand, it’s an important concept and that’s why it seemed to be a suiting name.  

Waiting at a busstation in Sri Lanka, on the way to Somawathi Home in 2015

Michael Oppatja is 43 years old, has years of experience as a teacher and has been working as a deputy headmaster at a primary school in. At the moment he is working as an education advisor at Fenom Education services. Rebekka Koelewijn is 33 years old and works as a Business Controller at Housing corporation Eigen Haard.

De letterlijke betekenis van het begrip Nam Jai is ‘Water van het hart’. Het verwijst naar oprechte vriendelijkheid en hulpvaardigheid voor anderen, zonder dat er iets tegenover hoeft te staan. Dit in Thailand belangrijke begrip vonden wij een passende naam voor onze projecten.