Our History

Anky Roomaker and son-in-law Albert Hengelaar visiting Kenya

The work of Help A Child began in the Netherlands when Hans and Anky Rookmaaker received a direct appeal for help from India in 1967. In response to this appeal, they started to make inquiries which brought them face to face with so much misery and suffering that they felt bound to begin a relief action. They placed an article in their denominational newsletter which resulted in many donations. This led to the foundation of “Red een Kind” on March 28, 1968. Anky Rookmaaker was at the helm of Red een Kind for 27 years until her retirement in 1995 at 80 years of age. By that time Red een Kind had grown into an organization through which 50,000 children had received support.

Although the Rookmaakers also founded the Dutch branch of L’Abri Fellowship in the early 1970s, Red een Kind became the life-work of Anky Rookmaaker. In 1992 she was decorated with the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Dutch Queen. Albert Hengelaar, a son-in-law of Anky Rookmaaker began working for Red een Kind in 1981. He also had a tenure of 27 years with the organization. He was the director of Red een Kind from 1997 – 2008. Under his able leadership the organization continued the growth trajectory initiated by Mrs. Rookmaaker as he ushered Red een Kind into the next generation.