The Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation financially supports projects involved in sustainable development for children in need. By creating new opportunities for children we can build a brighter future!
The foundation was started in 2002 by Spangers Construction Company, the oldest construction company in the Netherlands that is still family run. Marthe van Rijswijck was the wife of Hubertus Sprangers and was herself a refugee who fled to the Netherlands as a child.
The Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation financially supports charitable, scientific or non-profit organisations and its main goal is to contribute to the development of ideas and/or support projects of social importance with idealistic and social intent. This support focuses on disadvantaged children who, because of social circumstances or disabilities of mental or physical nature, are limited in their development. With our support we intend to help them create a place in society where they can develop and optimise their skills, and then put them to good use.
The Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation mainly focuses on granting financial support to durable and sustainable development aid for the benefit of deprived and underprivileged children around the world.
How a girl fleeing war ends up lending her name to the foundation of the Netherlands’ oldest family construction company.
The Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation is a part of Sprangers Construction Company, a family-run company founded in Napoleanic times. In 1796 Lambertus Sprangers started out as a carpenter in Princenhage, a small town in the south of The Netherlands.
Business was good and by 1810 the company employed a number of people. Lambertus’ son, Adrianus, took over in the middle of the 19th century. These were the meagre years, due to an economic slump. But Adrianus persisted and he managed to keep his father’s business afloat. When Adrianus’ youngest son, Antoon, took over, business was once again picking up. It was under Antoon that Sprangers Construction celebrated its 100th anniversary.
The real growth of Sprangers Construction Company was developed by Karel Sprangers together with his brother Hubertus, whose wife would later inspire the foundation. They successfully led the company through the 1930s and on to more prosperous times: the reconstruction after World War Two. Hubertus and Karel were succeeded by Hubertus’ sons: Huib and Rudolf, both technical engineers. They managed to grow the business to the level it still maintains. Lambertus, an accountant and financial expert, played an important role as adviser.
In the beginning of the 1990’s, Rudolf Sprangers, the youngest family member from the fifth generation decided on an entirely new adventure for the company. He founded the Sprangers Jeugdfonds, the Sprangers Youth Fund, in English. This foundation has two main objectives: firstly to take care of the continuity and independence of Sprangers Construction Company and secondly, to provide financial support to sustainable development aid for disadvantaged youth all over the world. These two objectives are inextricably connected with each other: when the company does well, it allows the dividends to be made to the foundation.
In 2002, Sprangers Jeugdfonds decided to initiate a second foundation solely dedicated to realising the social objective. This foundation is called the Marthe van Rijswijck Foundation.
Marthe van Rijswijck, the wife of Hubertus Sprangers was a titan within the Sprangers family. Though her role in Sprangers Construction Company is too easily overlooked, this foundation ensures that her name is not forgotten. Her background is of special significance to the foundation: as a child, she was herself a refugee. In 1914, when the Great War broke out, she and her sisters fled Antwerp to the neutral Netherlands. Via Bergen op Zoom and Den Bosch, she finally settled in Princenhage, where she met Hubertus, who became her husband. Hubertus, son of Antoon, son of Adrianus, son of Lambertus Sprangers the carpenter, who started a little company back in 1796.
Lambertus Sprangers could hardly have imagined that over two centuries, his little carpentry company would grow to the size it is today. Sprangers Bouwbedrijf has 150 employees and an average income of 120 million euros. Least of all could he have known that his company would one day fund a foundation that supports children in need. It is safe to say he would be proud.