By the end of the nineteenth century, a considerable number of Moluccan were entering into service with the Dutch colonial army, the Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger (KNIL), a force that consolidated and enforced Dutch control over the Indies. The Moluccan army recruitment was a part of a Dutch colonial policy to ‘divide and conquer’ the Indies.
They came in a fix when the Netherlands had to withdraw from the Indies.
So the Dutch had to demobilizing their colonial army. The Moluccan soldiers of the former KNIL who were stationed on Java and Sumatra were an embarrassment to the Dutch government and because they were not permit to return to the Moluccas while war continued, the Dutch government decided to bring the former KNIL-soldiers of Moluccan origin to the Netherlands, with the intention of having them return to the Moluccas six months later.
The almost 4,000 soldiers with their wives and children (in total approximately 12,500 individuals) were ironically enough placed in former German concentration camps like Westerbork and camp Vught by the Dutch Governement.
In the sixties they moved to closed residential areas. So they could easily keep their adat system and local Ambon language. They are organized along the boundaries of the villages of origin. Each local community has its own church and mosque.
For that reason, a separate task force has been established Maluku. She wants to build a bridge between their community in the Netherlands and Maluku. To inspire the Moluccan community and diaspora to unite into a tangible force to help themselves to a better Indonesia. Stimulate and support practical initiatives for sustainable development and to contribute in this way to social justice.
In the last 15 years more than 1 million euro is invested in small scale programs.
Success is achieved by the sister cities Ambon-Vlissingen (SSVA), in the field of environment and health care. In Ambon they put down an eye clinic for the underprivileged. The network of TitanE Foundation installed solar panels, clean drinking water, strengthening the role and position of the Masyarakat Adat.
Drivers: Thomas Sikteubun (social worker) Matthias Kakisina (social worker), Buce Ubro (consultant), Pascal Amukwaman (entrepreneur), Piet Anthony (teacher), Ricky Alfons (social worker) and Sam Pormes (former member of the Dutch Senate).