About us

We collaborate with partner organisations, government institutions, volunteers, donors and more to deliver tailor-made humanitarian programmes based on peoples reality. Together is a key word for us. Together we make Dorcas work.

Our presence is never fleeting. We harness sustainable development models - working closely with community leaders, local networks and beneficiaries on the ground - to turn temporary solutions into lasting change.


Dorcas was founded by Dutch entrepreneur Dirk-Jan Groot in 1980. Groot was inspired by a foundation that supported Eastern Europeans who were persecuted for their religious beliefs during the Cold War. In the 1990s, the organisation expanded its activities to Africa - and, in the last decade, to the Middle East.

Today we are active in 14 countries in 3 regions - working to improve the resilience and livelihoods of vulnerable people living in poverty, exclusion and crisis. 

Thousands of volunteers in Dorcas Shops, in Dorcas depots, working in groups and in local churches are the lifeblood of our organisation. 2020 will mark the 25th edition of the Dorcas Food Campaign - thanks to more than 700 communities across the Netherlands.

The name Dorcas

We are named after a woman called Dorcas (Tabitha) in the Bible. She had a great impact in the lives of widows by providing clothes and other materials for them (Acts 9:36).

Our values

We have love and hope for everyone who lives in poverty, is excluded, or is caught in a crisis.