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Our programs (incl. with Sahaya International, USA)
READ (Rural Education and Action Development)
Prerana's Women Health Initiative
Lamling Vista School
Sahaya Deaf, Kenya
Rehema Center (Kenya)


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What is Sahaya

Sahaya, abbreviated as, is a nonprofit organization ("VZW; vereniging zonder winstoogmerk") that was established in Belgium in July 2009. We are the sister organization of Sahaya International, Inc (, which is already active since 1999 with raising funds in the USA.   Sahaya International and Sahaya are both organizations to support several programs in developing countries. Both were founded by Dr. Koen Van Rompay and his friends.

On July 18, 2009, we had our first board meeting where several of our dynamic volunteers signed the articles of incorporation, and we formed the general assembly and board of directors. On July 24, all forms were submitted officially to the government.

This picture shows 8 of the 9 founders. vrienden

Both organizations consist of a diverse network of unpaid friends, who are committed to make a difference towards improving the quality of life in third world countries. Through our volunteer efforts, we provide much needed assistance to several grassroots organizations in developing countries that do social development projects, in particular READ (Rural Education and Action Development) in India, Sahaya Deaf in Kenya and a few other good organizations.
We aim for sustainable development by empowering local people. This happens through various ways, such as providing school education, sponsorship programs for orphans, HIV/AIDS programs, formation of self-help groups with micro-finance activities, and healthcare.

Where does the name Sahaya come from?

The name Sahaya is derived from an old Sanskrit word that means "HELP".

How did Sahaya start?

The idea for Sahaya International grew out of the experience of our secretary, Dr. Koen Van Rompay, after an inspiring trip to India. (Click here to read Koen's stories). With the help of friends and family, Sahaya International was born. .

During the previous years, Sahaya International has developed a growing network of people and organizations that support us. Sahaya International has also received grant support from the World Bank and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Because more and more people in Belgium and Europe also started to join this network, we decided in 2009 that it was important to also register a non-profit organization in Belgium. That was the birth of Sahaya!

Sahaya International heeft de voorbije jaren een groeiend netwerk ontwikkeld van mensen en firma’s die onze projecten een financieel handje bijsteken. We hebben ook al steun gekregen in de vorm van beurzen van befaamde internationale organisaties, zoals de Wereldbank en de Elton John AIDS Foundation.

To better understand our structure and how we channel the contributions from well-wishers to the programs in developing countries to help the people there, please click here.

The founders and 2009 members of the General Board are:

1. An Van Rompay
2. Koen Van Rompay
3. Paul Verlodt
4. René Marïen
5. Dominique Vandekerchove
6. Jeannine Luyten
7. Joan Schelpe
8. Raf Van Eyken
9. Nicolaas (Klaas) Soethout

Our officers:

1). Koen Van Rompay: President
2). An Van Rompay: Secretary-Treasurer and executive director
3). Paul Verlodt: Vice-President
4). René Marien: Director
5). Nicolaas Soethout: Director

Above all, consists of the incredible and fantastic network of friends, volunteers and supporters who help us to realize our dreams of making this world a better place.


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© Sahaya, 2016