Our volunteers work on special projects that contribute to making a positive change in the world. Many of our current activities are related to the Compostela Village Project, which focuses on sustainable livelihood through agriculture, education, entrepreneurship and other projects.
Dekeyser & Friends was founded by Bobby Dekeyser in Geneva in 2009. Inspired by a life-changing experience, he decided to launch an initiative for young people. As a teenager Dekeyser was invited to attend a football camp in New York City, and there he met Pelé. He asked the international football star for advice on how to achieve his goals. Pelé replied, “Follow your dreams”.
“I never forgot his words,” said Dekeyser.
The foundation has so far initiated a number of international projects. In Bavaria’s Schliersee, fellows from all over the world used traditional methods to build a farmhouse under the guidance of Markus Wasmeier, an Olympic gold medalist in Alpine skiing. Dancing to choreography by Mustafa Erdoğan of the Fire of Anatolia dance company, fellows performed in an international stage production in Istanbul. In Hamburg they learned everything about handling food from the television chef Tim Mälzer. Internationally renowned goalkeeper Jens Lehmann (Arsenal London) supervised a football project in Hamburg. Primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall worked with fellows on a conservation project.
Today, the foundation’s main project is the village of Compostela, which was created to help give a fresh start to people living on a dump site in Mandaue City on the Philippine island of Cebu, with guidance from Father Heinz Kulüke (Steyler Missionaries).
Find out more about the foundation’s roots
in Bobby Dekeyser’s biography.
All of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Dekeyser & Friends.