Foto van achterkant hulpverlener in Oekraïne

Who we are

How it started

The Netherlands Refugee Foundation was founded on the initiative of two World War II resistance heroes: Cees Brouwer and Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart. From 1956, Brouwer was the driving force behind numerous campaigns to raise money for refugees. Brouwer worked closely with Gerrit Jan van Heuven Goedhart, the first United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They knew each other from their resistance against the Nazi-occupiers in World War II.

Portretfoto van Goedhart

The early years

Cees Brouwer devoted his life to fight injustice and help refugees. He used his broad personal network to raise money. From 1956 this happened via Giro 999, a unique bank account number, which since has become an iconic brand in itself in the Netherlands. With his unwavering perseverance he managed to organise the very first nationwide fundraising campaign in 1966 that was broadcast live on television. Many more campaigns would follow.

The ad hoc nature of the fundraising efforts disappeared in 1976 with the establishment of Stichting Vluchtelingenhulp (the Aid for Refugees Foundation). In 1981 the organisation was rebranded to Stichting Vluchteling (The Netherlands Refugee Foundation).

Our donors

Deelnemers Nacht van de Vluchteling lopen door winkelstraat

Your support makes a difference when it matters most

The Netherlands Refugee Foundation is fiercely independent and relies heavily on support of individual donors. We can honestly say that, without our loyal donors, our work would not be possible. It is this support that allows us to respond immediately to emerging crises, develop and implement innovative solutions and be a vocal advocate for refugee rights. Will you join us and stand with refugees worldwide?

Supervisory Board

een vluchtelingenkamp in de buurt van Sebba, Burkina Faso
© Anne Mimault / Reuters

Good governance and rigorous scrutiny

Good governance and supervision are essential to maintain the high-quality standards of our aid. That is why we have clear rules and an active Supervisory Board.

The Supervisory Board consists of six members. The members are appointed in their personal capacity. The Supervisory Board appoints the Director and supervises the running of the organisation  management. The Board also helps set the direction of the organisation and provides solicited and unsolicited advice.

Members of the Supervisory Board receive no remuneration, except reimbursement for any travel or other necessary expenses incurred. Members are appointed for four years, and this term may be renewed once.

Regulations and statutes

Our partners

Noodhulppakketten van Stichting Vluchteling in Oekraïne

Stronger together

Together with our local and international partners we unlock international capacity and local potential in providing effective humanitarian relief and solutions in the world’s most complex emergencies.

Management team

The Management Team is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation and the day-to-day operations .The team consists of the Director and four managers: Head of Programs & Policy, Head of Internal Operations, Head of Communications, and Head of Fundraising.



For the Netherlands Refugee Foundation, staff is the engine for success. At the end of 2022, the foundation had a team of 47 employees (43 fte).

  • Team Internal Operations
  • Team Programs
  • Team Policy
  • Team Fundraising
  • Team Communication
Stichting Vluchteling