About us

Our dream

The Improve Foundation was founded to work on the dream of oral healthcare for everyone. By stimulating education and entrepreneurship, we are working on permanent change. We enjoy collaborating with companies and foundations in order to have as much clout as possible. Read more about the motivations of the founders and the board below.

Our team

Harmen Westerduin

(Co-founder, member of the board)

“As an entrepreneur in heart and soul, I would like to contribute to a world without poverty. Stimulating local entrepreneurship is, in my opinion, one of the best methods to achieve this. Often all that’s needed is an extra chance for people with a lot of potential, but who have fewer opportunities than us.

Wouldn’t it be great to combine the possibilities we have with entrepreneurship from local citizens so that they can make a positive, often life-changing impact in their environment.”

LinkedIn

“Long lines of people, significant inflammations and cases of swelling: every time I worked as a dentist in West Africa I saw how many people suffered from a lack of access to oral care. This was the start of our dream: ‘oral health care for everyone’.

I would love it if we could initiate sustainable change by sharing knowledge, skills and materials. I know that it’s not easy, yet by taking a first step and working well together with (local) partner organizations, we can make a difference that will last.”

Marijke Westerduin

(Co-founder, member of the board)

Mark Wolff

(Chairman of the Board)

“I work for a large international company that is active in the field of drug development and medical technology. I find it very valuable to be able to make a tangible contribution to supporting the dental health care system in Western Africa through the Improve Foundation.”

LinkedIn

Luke Meijers

(Treasurer of the Board)

“Several of my family members work in oral health care, which is why I know first-hand how important it is to have a healthy mouth. I like to use my knowledge and skills in the area of business operations and finances to make the Improve Foundation function as well as possible. Making oral care accessible to more people worldwide is a wonderful goal.”

LinkedIn

Francis Ligterink

(Secretary of the board)

“Through my work in the Dentistry program at the Radboud UMC, I know Marijke as an enthusiastic dentist. I didn’t hesitate for a moment when she asked me to become Secretary of this foundation which has such a beautiful goal.

I think it is unfair that the opportunities you get are strongly linked to the place where you grow up. This certainly also applies to healthcare worldwide. By contributing to the foundation in this way, I hope to be able to make a positive contribution to improving opportunities for healthcare, regardless of where you live.”

LinkedIn

Arjen ten Brinke
Ambassador
Aaron Tom
Website
Denise Gorissen
Social Media

Where we work

With the Improve Foundation, we have opted to focus on improving oral health care in West Africa. There is a serious shortage of dental care professionals in this area, and there are only a few dentistry courses. The current dentist-patient ratio is now an average of 1:180,000 in West Africa, compared to the Netherlands where it is 1:2,000.

West Africa consists of 16 countries, see Wikipedia ‘West-Afrika. Initially, we will focus on Guinea and the countries where Mercy Ships will work in the near future, specifically Senegal, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Our partners

DHIN
Freshtandartsen
Mercy Ships
Heights and Minds