the project

The story of Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge & Children’s Home history began in 2005, when two Dutch doctors were invited to a seminar in Tanzania.

Joris & Marise, moved by the experience, decided to organize other seminars and, more so, to help the community.

Hence, they started searching for a venue that could accommodate doctors and seminars.

Marise went back to Tanzania and started looking for land, she visited many villages and she remained impressed by the great number of children in the streets, without parents and with no one to take care of them.
That’s how Marise and Joris decided to build a venue for the seminars and a children’s home as well.

Having no experience with orphans, the couple decided to do research and visited several orphanages both in Europe and in Africa, one thing was quite clear: they shouldn’t be dependent on donations from third parties.

The desire and the need to be fully self-sustainable led to the idea of “two hills, one goal”. The lodge would host doctors and tourists, using the profits to support the expenses of the children’s home.

In 2006, Joris and Marise created the Rhotia Valley Children’s Home Foundation in the Netherlands, seeking financial backers for the purchase of the land and the construction of the lodge. Today, the Foundation is still working hard to collect donations for school fees and invest in the sustainable farm of the Children’s Home, so they are more self supporting for their food.

With self-sustainability always in mind, the two doctors decided to embed the project completely in the community of Rhotia, with the aim to support the people –especially the children – of the Rhotia area – in a such way to make the entire village part of the project.

This is how we try to make you feel when you are a guest at Rhotia.

Since nov 2021 their legacy is continued by a new dutch owner who continues in their spirit and objectives.

the board

Joris and Marise established the Rhotia Valley Children’s Home Foundation in 2006. It is run by volunteers in The Netherlands, who do not charge a fee, so you can be assured that every given penny will be directly invested into the children!

Founders: Joris Koch & Marise Koch-Hekstra

Chairman: Philip Houben

Board Secretary: Ineke de Geer-Huisman

Treasurer: Wopke van Rhijn

Member: Aagje van Heekeren

the milestones

Discover the story and the milestones of Rhotia Valley Foundation. Every year we try to achieve some goals in the 4 following development areas: Children (C), Projects (P), Sustainability & Community (S&C), Housing & Constructions (H&C)


Land Purchase! – Housing & Constructions


2007 BUILDING UP CHILDRENS HOME Construction of the Children’s Home: 3 houses, 1 office, 1 kitchen, 1 big class room for welcoming 36 children. – Children


2008-OFFICIAL-OPENING-CH-HOMEOfficial opening of the Children’s Home –  Housing & Constructions

A grader for a soccer field – Housing & Constructions

2008 road renovation rivercrossingRenovation of Rhotia Road – Sustainability & Community

2008 GRADER FOR SOCCER FIELDNew solar panels for the classroom & the three children’s houses – Sustainability & Community


2009-100-OLPC-E-LEARNING-LAPTOPS-AT-THE-MARERA-SCHOOLWe have been able to purchase Lego, mountain bikes, puzzles, reading books and 100 OLPC e-learning laptops – Children
2009-WORKING-IN-THE-VEGGIES-GARDENConstruction of 2x 50 000 litre water tanks and a pump system – Sustainability & Community

Development of a new vegetable garden and chicken coop – Sustainability & Community


2010 KITCHENPurchase of hot water boilers at the children’s home kitchen – Sustainability & Community

Cows join the Rhotia Valley Family! The children can enjoy fresh milk every morning! – Sustainability & Community


2011 CO MANAGEMENT MARERA SCHOOL - RHOTIA VALLEYAn official Contract between Rhotia Valley and the Tanzanian Government was signed for the co-management of Marera Primary School – Projects
2011 WATER !!A new water project was started: renovation of the water pipes and construction of the break pressure tank from the Ngorongoro Crater Rim – Sustainability & Community
2011-BAKERYThe official opening of the new bakery! The turnover will be used  for the secondary school education and the Children’s Home – Projects


2012-BUILDING-THE-BIOGAS-FROM-COWDUNGThe construction of our first Bio-gas tank, which uses cow dung – Sustainability & Community


2013-BREAKFAST-AT-THE-MARERA-SCHOOL-BY-RVThe opening of the Marera Pre Primary School, fully supported by Rhotia Valley Foundation. Now 100 children between 5 and 7 years old can go to school! – Projects

This year we provided all schoolbooks for Umoja Primary School and Marera Primary School students – Children

2013-other-cowsWe bought 4 extra acres for the growing number of cows, 14 at this moment – Housing & Constructions

A new fertiliser tank and recycle system was built – Sustainability & Community


2014 WITH WHOLE STAFF TO PANGANI BEACH We made a trip with the whole staff to Pangani! – Projects

2014-PLAYGROUNG-PRE-PRIMARY-SCHOOL-MARERA We donated 400 new school desks, a new laptop room and a playground to the Marera Primary School – Children
We renovated the kitchen and the houses at the Children’s Home – Housing & Constructions


Eight children finished their studies and found work! 2 tailors, 2 bakers, 1 storekeeper, 1 waiter, 1 waitress, 1 chef – Children

2014 NEW SCHOOL DESKSConstruction of the 2nd Bio-gas – using human waste – tank began – Sustainability & Community


2015-BOREHOLEWe found water! We built a borehole with an 80 000 litre tank and a 2 000 meter pipeline that runs uphill to the Children’s Home – Sustainability & Community
IMG_1124We bought a new school bus for the kids!  – Children
We were able to pay for the yearly school uniforms for all our children and pay the school fees of the Private Tumaine Primary School – Children
2015 COFFEE CORNER TRAINING CENTER We started a new training project: construction and opening of the Coffee Corner restaurant at the main road! – Projects


2016 HOUSE 18+We started a new educational project: arrangement and organisation of a Small Business School in ‘House 18+’ –  Projects



IMG_1166We renovated our vegetable garden! We built a new green house, began the implementation of an irrigation system and started putting up beehives to prevent elephants from entering the garden – Sustainability & Community


P1240404We built a new playground for our children at the Children’s Home – Children


We renovated all our roads with a grader – Sustainability and Community


DSC_0760We set-up a new computer room in the 18+ house for the small business school students – Projects


P1240755We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the official opening of the Children’s Home! – Children

We built a brand new stable for the cows with enough solar panels on top to power our whole project – Projects


IMG_6528We built a pen for our new pig project – Sustainability and Community

We Built an irrigation system, watering 2 hectares of Elephant, Lucerne and Desmodium grass for the cows -Sustainability and Community


IMG_1188We started a chicken project! We built a new chicken coop and bought 100 new chickens – Projects



IMG_1148The batteries for our solar system finally arrived! Now the Lodge, Bakery and our Children’s Home are powered by the sun – Sustainability and Community