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Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Together for more healthy years
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Drewes Wildeman

Resilience - citizen

Drewes Wildeman, founder 'Landgoed DeCamping'

I was born in 1970 in the province of Groningen. I grew up in a family where I did not experience any upbringing. Mom and dad gave my brother and me an enormous amount of freedom to discover on our own and to make choices of our own, while the door was always open if we needed any help. In the past I wanted to become a farmer. But, unfortunately, I had to abandon that dream. At our home the only ground was in the flower pots. My father was a toolmaker. Perhaps that is why working in technology is in my blood. When I was twelve years old I started by helping out every Saturday in the mechanic shop of friends of my parents. I cleaned the toilets and was responsible for cleaning the shop. In addition to my love for technology, social organising runs like a red thread through my life. When I left the family home in Appingedam at the age of 21, I was ‘allowed’ to live in ‘t Zandt; ‘You can come and live in ‘t Zandt, but then you have to join the soccer team.’ Together with my brother Peter, I played two seasons in the selection. I was the worker, Peter the striker. The audience stood on the side of the canteen. My parents were the only ones sitting on the big stand on the other side of the field. When Peter scored, he made a bow at the centre spot especially for them.


I am Drewes Wildeman. In everything I do, I try to keep an eye on the other person. I find it important to be meaningful to the people around me. When the soccer club ‘t Zandt decided to shut the doors due to a decline in members, I decided together with my friend Dick Lukkien that we did not want the field to be full of weeds and that this social meeting place will disappear forever. At the centre of the old main field, we decided to set up a ‘Social Village Corporation’, which would be used to make healthcare more local and personal. The result is Landgoed DeCamping , where we together invest in a social place for everyone who is not feeling their best. Enthusiasm. A place of positivity in the middle of an environment that has to endure it’s own difficulties. We are convinced that more places like Landgoed DeCamping are needed; places where you do not feel forced to be there, but where you like to come because you feel safe and appreciated. The support in and around the village is great. Not only because we take care of each other, but especially because there is again, as we call it in the local Gronings dialect ‘divedoatie’, which means buzz. The joint feeling prevails again. We are convinced that we are doing the right thing, but we are also open for good input. I invite Aletta to visit our corporation and to help us to become even better. Because, if more people, just like me, go to work singing everyday, how healthier that is, right!?

Drewes Wildeman
Last modified:24 May 2019 3.16 p.m.
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