About KVN Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland


Article in a Dutch newspaper by G. Hornstra. This article is written in 1968 and it is about the blacksmith of Kythira. He was ashamed for the summer campers from Vlaardingen who helped the island so fantastic and after two years there was still no water in Livadi. The blacksmith wrote an article in a Kytherian newspaper and it worked. After two years the Greek government opened the tap!


Mr. and Mrs. Hornstra came to Kythera for their first time in June 1966. Together with Ds. (minister) Krol they were leading the first of the 2 summer work camps from the Dutch town Vlaardingen. They came for the construction of the community water supply in Livadi, for which project already as from 1965 all kinds of fund raisings activities had been organised by youngsters in Vlaardingen.

Gerard Hornstra and Netty Hornstra- were the main founders in 1967 of the “Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland”. This “circle of friends” at one time had some 400 registered members all over Holland and informed its members about the plans and achievements of the WCC team at Kythira by means of the periodical “IRIS” until the end of 1971. The KVN members all over Holland organised many fund-raising drives to provide the WCC team at Kythera with funds for a variety of projects.

Of special interest are the ingenious ways money was raised.

For the main subjects in their periodical IRIS see list on the two next pages.


Ecumenical summer work camps organized via Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland


1966: community water supply Livadi, 2 camps in June and July by youngsters from the Dutch town Vlaardingen. Digging of trenches, foundation for water reservoir and laying of plastic pipes. For the WCC Team, office at Chora, technical supervision of the work camps was by Anton Opdam and Lex Pannekoek, technical students from the Technical College Arnhem. Overall technical supervision and coordination with local authority was done by Jean Bingen, civil engineer.


1967: in July cheese factory in Fratsia, excavations and foundation, by youngsters from the Dutch town ‘s Hertogenbosch,. For the WCC Team, office at Chora, the technical supervision of the summer work camp was by Harry Wellink, technical student from the Technical College Arnhem. Overall technical supervision and coordination by Wessel Breunisse, civil engineer.


1968: 1st winter camp (!) in Myrtidia, by “West-Friese” youngsters, from Holland, in February ’68. Tree planting in Myrtidia en Dokana: For the WCC Team, office at Chora, the technical supervision was by Ida Blok, agricultural engineer.


Note:   all pictures by Chris-Paul Stapels, news paper clippings and other documents were made available by Mr. and Mrs. Hornstra from their KVN archive, which was handed to Jean Bingen end of June 2005.


WCC team and Dutch organizations and or institutes


Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland: KVN

The main subjects in their periodical IRIS.


Of special interest are the ways money was raised.

Nr. Issue

Year & nr.

1 1967

1st year

nr. 1- April

Introduction of KVN as a result of the campaign for the water supply for Livadi and Katouni in 1965 and 1966. First contacts with Stichting Oecumenische Hulp (SOH = Foundation Ecumenical Aid). Committee of recommendation. About Kythera and the Team’s programme. Campaign: Water for Fratsia (from the town ‘s Hertogenbosch).
2 1967

1st year

nr. 2- June

The Team and the new political situation in Greece. New members strengthening the Team. Achievements. Ways of fund raising drives.
3 1967

1st year

nr. 3- Sept

Achievements, see also map of Kythera (status end of 1965). Reforestation (picture of tree nursery is at Kalamos; existed only in 1966). Weird fund raising and walking for Kythera.
4 1967

1st year

nr. 4- Dec

Organization of the KVN and its financial responsibility. Re: the Team and the new political situation in Greece. About icons. Achievements, work camps. Fund raisings and especially in West-Friesland. A home for Kula: plans for an old peoples home at Chora.
5 1968

2nd year

nr. 1- April

Achievements, donation for domestic school in Mylopotamos. Increase of KVN members. Water economy, drilling of wells, community water supply. First work camp in winter period: tree planting. Activities.
6 1968

2nd year

nr. 2- Aug

Mr. Hornstra’s visit to Kythera. Why still financial help for Kythera? The domestic school in Mylopotamos. A home also for Mitsos: plans for an old peoples home at Chora. Minoan settlement at Paleopolis. Transportation costs for tree planting by work camp. Walking for Kythera: for a stable in Drimona. Fund raising to strengthen the Team in 1969 with a civil engineer.
7 1969

3rd year

nr. 1- April

How IRIS got some 20.000 extra readers. About the continuation of the Team’s work: the domestic school in Mylopotamos, the cheese factory in Fratsia, the old peoples home in Potamos, the community building and the plans for an old peoples home in Chora. Epiretis, a periodical in Greek by the Team, is mentioned. Large contributions from the Greek government and financial support from abroad. Financial overview KVN. Letters from Kythera.
8 1969

3rd year

nr. 2- Oct

The continuation of the Team’s work. New member strengthening the Team. Letter from Mrs. Ida Blok, agricultural engineer and former Team member. Activities. A home for Kula, Mitsos and Maria and doctor Kassapis. Walking for Kythera. Fund raising for a manager for the cheese factory in Fratsia.
9 1970

4th year

nr. 1

The continuation of the Team’s work. Influence of Greek government. Financial overview 1969. Article: Educational systems and future plans (1). Examples of Greek items that are being sold at fancy fairs. Status of fund for cheese factory in Fratsia.
10 1970

4th year

nr. 2

New activities coming period. Educational systems and future plans (2).

7 Stables at Kythera, more cows, less goats, more trees. Status of funds for cheese factory and for a home for Kula. Article: Pappa Manolli from Mylopotamos, by Mrs. Ida Blok.

11 1970

4th year

nr. 3

Forecast: the Team’s activities will stop end of 1972. About the required 7 stables. Article: first impression, by new Team member. International cooperation and intermediary ICCO: to finalize the domestic school. Translated page of March 31 of the Kytherian newspaper. KVN, its working capital compared to profits for Kythera. Article about the manager for the cheese factory. Examples of how and where funds for Kythera were raised.
12 1971

5th year

nr. 1

About the required 7 stables to 7 different families. The 8th stable. Domestic school in Mylopotamos, article by Mrs. Koksma. Madame Chrysa, article by Mrs. Ida Blok. Walking for Kythera: 6th year.
13 1971

5th year

nr. 2

Last IRIS! The Team’s activities are terminated by the end of September, the KVN will be discontinued. Parting of Kythera, by KVN and SOH. Parting of IRIS: a retrospective, by Mr. Koksma. His philosophy on how development assistance should be executed. Opening of domestic school in Mylopotamos. The fund raised for “a home for Kula” goes to the old people’s home in Potamos. A letter “To our Kythera friends” by Mrs. and Mr. Koksma.  The last mileage.




Orgaan van de Stichting GENOOTSCHAP HELLAS

Monthly periodical of the “Foundation Fellowship Hellas”

  • 1964, May: article “the revival of Kythera” by Mrs. G.A. Hinlopen-Nanninga
  • 1966, July/Aug: article “road at Kythera”
  • 1967, April: article “Kythera Vriendenkring Nederland” its introduction

>> interesting read: Dream Island Kythera



Monthly periodical of the “Foundation Ecumenical Aid to Churches and Refugees”

  • 1965, April: “letter from Kythera”
  • 1967, Sept: “Kythera” about the WCC Team and its work at the island
  • 1969, May: “Kythera” about the WCC Team and its work at the island. IRIS 1969 nr. 1 included. Also included a financial overview Kythera-project 1960-1968


Unknown source (probably SOH)

  • 1964, dok. 133/64: “Kythera”


Stichting Oecumenische Hulp aan kerken en vluchtelingen (SOH).

“Foundation Ecumenical Aid to Churches and Refugees”

  • 1966, SOH 11/66: “The Island of Kythera and its Inter-Church Team” (article by Mr. J.M. Koksma)

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