General information

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Life at our sustainable playground De Ceuvel in Amsterdam North has been at a short standstill during the corona crisis. Most members of our association worked from home and, the cafe was closed as well. That’s why De Ceuvel opened its doors on the 20th of April for a group of people who otherwise would have ended up on the streets.

At the beginning of the corona crisis, it became clear that we had to cancel all the beautiful summer concerts, workshops on plants, lectures on sustainable dome building and vibrant festivals. Our cultural programme maker Esther Weller explored our new possibilities. Together with Huib Koel, shipbuilder at the NDSM shipyard, a pioneer at the Ceuvel and owner of Asile Flottant, we contacted the Family on a Mission Foundation. 

The Family on a Mission Foundation consists of three courageous women with a lot of experience in guiding and supporting refugees, undocumented migrants and young people with a distance to the labour market. For over a year they have been taking care of the Mandela Kids, a group of undocumented young people who were staying in a garage in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Because of the corona crisis, the situation became even more distressing, despite the inexhaustible care they offered.

That’s why the foundation, together with de Ceuvel, the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Municipal Health Service (GGD), joined forces to offer a temporary daycare location at De Ceuvel to the Mandela Kids. The municipality also opened a night shelter just a few minutes by bike from De Ceuvel.

We are trying to find a long-term solution for each person individually. In the period that the group has been able to stay at De Ceuvel, we’ve already guided twelve young people on their way to a more sustainable future.

Initially, we assumed that the daycare at De Ceuvel would continue until the reopening of the hospitality industry. But due to the success of this project, we have decided together with the municipality, to extend this fruitful time for the boys until at least August 1st.

You can visit our donation shop on the square of De Ceuvel. In exchange for a donation of 10 euros, you can take home one of the following items: Super fair coffee beans from KAAP KOFFIE or a bracelet or mouth cap made by the boys.

The donation shop is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 to 17 hours. All profits go to the foundation Family on a Mission and thus directly to the boys. The money we raise is used to buy food and personal items for the Mandela Kids. If you would like to make a material donation, please contact us first via 

For the shelter of the Mandela Kids during the corona crisis, we get advice from Aukje Polder of De Regenboog, an organisation with daycare centres for homeless people. All regulations and measures that apply in regular daycare centres also apply to De Ceuvel. Extra sanitary facilities have also been installed and the daily activities are carried out in small groups under the supervision of the organisation at De Ceuvel. We also work together with Dokters van de Wereld to keep an eye on the health of the group and the volunteers. This is how we protect ourselves, the people around us and the Mandela Kids.