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Our history

In 1980, Dirk Jan Groot and his wife set up the ‘Christian Foundation for Aid to the Persecuted for Cause of Conscience’ from the need to put the gospel into practice for the benefit of people who were persecuted and had to live in poverty. The foundation targeted the then still ‘closed’ countries in Eastern Europe.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and political reforms in Eastern Europe, these countries became more easily accessible and the working group Dorcas was founded, named after one the first Christians who was ‘full of good works and almsdeeds’ (Acts 9:36, KJV). The group focused on collecting and transporting goods and was named Foundation Dorcas Aid International; Dirk Jan Groot became its director.

When communist Ethiopia was struck by famine in 1989, Dorcas sent food by sea container. Soon, the activities in Africa extended to other countries. Over the course of time, there were two foundations. Dorcas Aid International (founded in 1995) was responsible for the execution of the projects abroad. The fundraising for this work was done by ‘Dorcas Hulp Nederland’  (Dorcas Aid Netherlands) (1997). Dirk Jan Groot led the organisation for thirty years until he retired in 2010.

The boards of Dorcas Hulp Nederland and Dorcas Aid International decided to integrate both organisations. Early 2012 this unification was realised internally and in 2013, the merger deed was recorded. Stichting Dorcas Winkels (Foundation Dorcas Shops) is also part of this merger. As of October 2013, all Dorcas’ activities are combined in one organisation: Dorcas Aid International and goes by the name Dorcas.


For international transactions please use Dorcas' International Bank Account Number: NL04 RABO 0106 2500 00

How we work

Dorcas operates building the capacities of local partner organisations and funding their relief and development projects.

Our Programmes

Dorcas supports Relief, Early Recovery and Resilient Livelihoods, Enterprising people and Community Based Care and Protection.