About Mesics

Mesics is a foundation according to Dutch law, registered in the Commercial Register of The Hague under nr 27 17 60 42.

Bank Nr. 52 84 76 173
IBAN: NL69ABNA0528476173

Mesics has an ANBI status (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling). As a result, all donations to Mesics are exempt from gift tax and donations to Mesics are deductible for income tax / corporation tax.

Give a notarial gift!

From 1 January 2014 it is possible to donate via a private donation agreement. This is therefore no longer necessary via a notary. Do you think this is what Mesics is? Feel free to contact us via info@mesics.org and / or go directly to: http://download.belastingdienst.nl/


The name is the abbreviation of the Latin notion “Mens Sana In Corpore Sano”: a sound mind in a sound body. It was founded in 1998 by Dirk Kam. Dirk is born in 1953, married to Pauline, mother of their three daughters. He is educated at Erasmus University Rotterdam in economics. Since 1983 he is co-owner of companies active in international trade. Before engaging in business, Dirk worked two years as Junior Professional Officer for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kinshasa, Zaire/Congo.

The creation of Mesics resulted after three years of close cooperation between Dirk and the late Father Jan Heine. Father Jan dedicated a great part of his life to fight malnutrition in developing countries by promoting small scale tilapia culture. Tilapia is a tropical fish, easy to cultivate, and full of essential nutritional elements, like proteins. Especially pregnant women and young children will benefit greatly by regularly consuming fish/tilapia, thus favouring the good development of their nerves system and brains.

Being over 80 years of age, Father Jan asked Dirk Kam to become his successor. Dirk Kam agreed in 1997, and as a result became president of the Tilapia International Foundation (TIF). Internal problems within the Board of TIF, made Dirk Kam decide to leave TIF, and start Mesics. Father Jan Heine agreed to these steps, and became Patron of Mesics.


Goal of Mesics is to engage in small scale projects which stimulate self-reliance in mental and physical health. Mesics desires to help individuals and small groups to achieve a balance in mind and body, economy and spirituality, in man and nature. It has chosen to focus its operation in four African countries: Togo, Bénin, Kenya and Uganda.
Dirk Kam has visited these countries together with Father Jan Heine in 1997 and 1998. In agreement with Father Jan, the tilapia-activities in Latin America and Asia have not been followed up by Mesics. TIF and two German Tilapia Foundations try to give the necessary follow-up.

In the four countries, Mesics works exclusively with a local partner. In all countries, these partners have been contacted by Dirk Kam during his travels with Father Jan. These partners are nationals of the respective country and are related to or working for the Catholic Church. Thus Mesics works closely together with the Catholic Church, especially in Bénin and Kenya, using its well organized and dedicated network.
Mesics mostly reacts to requirements and priorities formulated by its local partners. Mesics only allows itself to constantly repeat a condition which it considers to be very important: financial self-reliance. Mesics does not want to create dependence on funding by Mesics. On the contrary, again and again, Mesics asks its partners if a project could survive if the next day Mesics would not exist anymore.

Father Jan Heine died in 2000. As a token deep appreciation for his person and his work, Mesics continues to promote small scale tilapia culture. Experience learns, however, that these projects will only succeed, if the operator does not expect any income effects from it, for the simple reason that it does not create income, but (only) consumable fish, rather than economically marketable fish.

The yearly budget of Mesics is ca € 100.000,-. Till 2005, all investments of Mesics in the four African countries have been done in the form of donations, whereby a local contribution, in cash or in kind, has been considered as essential. End of 2005, after careful consultation with its partners, the board has decided to try to finance income generating projects as much as possible on the basis of loans.

Mesics realises the importance of being critical towards requests for additional investments for the different projects. Which requests are are really essential? Or are they rather a justification for attracting more working capital? Most important is our criterium of financial self-reliance.

Mesics finances its investments in projects through donations of private persons, private and public charity funds, and the business community and service clubs.

Mesics does not pay salaries; as a rule all travel expenses are born by the travellers themselves. Thus the only overhead of Mesics consists of some printing costs and annual registration fees, not even 0,5 % of the total revenues. Mesics publishes yearly a financial report, audited by an accountant.


As of January 2019 the board consists of: Dirk Kam (chairman), Steven de Clercq (treasurer), Madeline Dijckmeester (secretary), Frederique Holle, Boldewijn Sloet and Margot Kam (board members). Under the board, the Mesics Ambassadors (formerly the Tilapia Committee) function with Loes van der Toolen, Lysbeth Land and Barrie Isherwood as members. Loes is an old friend of Father Jan Heine. The aim of the Mesics Ambassadors is to promote the (tilapia) projects of Mesics.

Former chairman Margot Kam stayed in Kenya from April 2015 until June 2018 for her work for Kam BV. This enabled her to continue her work for the Mesics projects and Light Up A Village in Kenya.
The objective of Mesics remains: to develop small-scale projects that promote self-reliance. Mesics wants to help individuals and smaller collectives to achieve a good balance between economy and spirituality, between man and nature, between body and mind.
The approach of Mesics has not changed: our local project partners set the priorities and the board makes the final decisions.
The chairman supervises the correct use of the funds and the results achieved on behalf of the board and reports on this to the board.
Mesics sees Margots stay in Kenya as a deepening of the cooperation between the Women’s Department of Meru and Mesics.

A change of management took place during the summer of 2013. Jop van der Wiel said goodbye to Mesics after 15 years. Jop thought it was time to make way for the next generation, but indicated that he would remain available if Mesics wanted to appeal to him. Mesics is very grateful to Jop for his work and commitment to Mesics. Mesics looks back on 15 beautiful and especially fertile years!

The Tilapia Commission has unfortunately had to say goodbye to Jan Bolhuis in 2010 in a sad way. Jan died on 2 October 2010 of a heart attack at the age of 79. He was a member of the Tilapia Commission from the very beginning, as a great friend of Mesics’ patron Father Jan Heine. Jan leaves a big emptiness through his cheerful optimism and never-ending energy to promote tilapia and Mesics. Fortunately, he had already made reinforcements in the Tilapia Commission by joining Lysbeth Land from A West, Drenthe in 2009.

In 2003 Mesics organized a meeting of the five partners of Mesics from the African countries. This opportunity for exchange, evaluation and planning was highly appreciated. The 2nd Conference took place in 2006 in Meru, Kenya. The 3rd Conference took place in 2009 in Bénin.

Wassenaar, januari 2019