Dutch town Vlaardingen donates water supply



We were also sent a booklet with newspaper clippings about the progress of all fundraising campaigns in the Dutch city of Vlaardingen. Jean has translated the essentials from this into English:

(Below a beautiful serie of photos from locals and summer campers, made by Piet Rijken)





The clippings in this booklet are as from 21 January thru 8 June 1966 and are taken from the newspaper “Nieuwe Vlaardingsche Courant” which adopted this ecumenical project of 7 churches in Vlaardingen under the name “Water for Kythera” by printing journalistic articles about Kythera, contributions of other authors and weekly updates from Miss Joke Lodder, secretary of the study group “Kythera”, to keep going the interest in this project.

Cooperation between youngsters proved a common ground for a further ecumenism.

Vlaardingen is a town in Holland halfway Rotterdam and the North Sea.

Here on Tuesday 18 January 1966 George and Anna Koksma delivered a lecture about their development work at Kythera.

Already December 1964 the social welfare centre of the Reformed Protestant Church on their own request was assigned the project to supply three little villages at Kythera, Ano Livadi, Kato Livadi and Katouni, with a water supply system.



Kuria Kypirasoula. Roussos ceramics Kato Livadi



In the summer of 1965 this project was discussed in an ecumenical youth centre by a workgroup and they questioned themselves “why not set up a combined campaign of youth groups of the various churches in town?”

January 7 in 1966 it was decided that youth from Protestant, Dutch Reformed, Remonstrant, Roman Catholic and the Salvation Army were going to start the necessary fund-raising drives for this project. They already knew that the Dutch factory Wavin, a pvc pipe fabricator in Hardenberg, would supply against cost price the required pipes and other materials. It was also decided that ecumenical youngsters would go to Kythera to help with the installation of the water supply system.

A workgroup of 12 people was formed and youth reverend Ds. Jan van Veen would be their advisor.

Of special interest is the way a considerable amount of money little by little was collected by all kinds of ingeniously worked out collection actions, but also by simple donations.

All required permits to collect and sell food and drinks in public were granted with full cooperation by the Vlaardingen city council.

Reading through the actual newspaper clippings one can see what money these actions each yielded.

  • A children’s Christmas ’65 action collecting old paper and empty bottles
  • Selling hot chocolate when open water is frozen
  • Ecumenical meals
  • Selling of baked iron-cookies, a town speciality
  • Children with aid of their parents again collecting old paper, rags and empty bottles
  • Collections at Sunday School
  • Teacher donating money from her coaching of students
  • Tombola evening
  • At birthday parties one pays 25 cents for a drink
  • Doing work in one’s spare time
  • At employee evenings one pays 10 cents for an otherwise free drink
  • Selling of attractively designed badges
  • The yield of not smoking during lent
  • A by Fire Brigade opened bazaar by the Salvation Army selling what was given by local shopkeepers
  • Exhibition, selling all kinds of Greek made articles
  • Flying balloons
  • Party evenings with dance and music
  • Entry fees from sports days
  • Entry fees from afternoon doing conjuring tricks
  • Washing of private cars
  • In a neighbouring village (Kethel-Schiedam): a Greek evening and collecting old paper
  • Small children seeking Easter-eggs
  • In Remonstrant church an evening with Dutch films
  • A collection by a combo on a truck driving through town
  • Social evenings with Greek music, singing and dancing
  • Entry fees from football match between clergymen and teachers
  • Entry fees from cabaret by clergymen (500 visitors!)
  • Greek commercial attaché, Mr. P. Moutjourides, opens an exhibition the last week of April. Selling also articles
  • Selling of food during Queens day
  • Swimming contests of various schools
  • Walking for Kythera, 5, 10 and 15 km (nearly a thousand participants!)


A total of 25.900 Dutch guilders in these ways were collected!


  • A large-scale attempt by an elementary school (the Mr. Bilderdijk school) to write an attractive ‘statement of intention and principles’ to improve the children’s knowledge of the Kythera project. See some resulting examples from the children of this project that was used by several schools
  • 8 Local firms donated the required electrical pumps for the water supply system
  • 2 Groups of 25 ecumenical youngsters will travel at their own expense in June and July by train and boat to Kythera to actual start the required deep trench digging to lay the pipes and to construct the foundation for the water tower. The 1st group leaders will be Ds. Krol and Mr. and Mrs. Hornstra. The 2nd group leaders will be Ds. Van Veen and Mr. and Mrs. Bovenberg.


1- Mr. Gerard Hornstra and Mrs. Netty Hornstra- de Boer in this year 1966 were deeply impressed by the work done at Kythera.

They both were the driving force for the founding of the Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland in 1967. This foundation supplied the Kythera Team with a lot of money for a variety of projects in the years 1967 thru 1971.

2- I have to thank Mr. Wijnand van der Velden for keeping these newspaper clippings for nearly 50 years.

Jean Bingen, April 2014

Photographer Piet Rijken, Livadi 1966

Click on a photo to enlarge






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