Simavi was founded in 1925 by two medical doctors, Dr. John Van der Spek and Dr. H. Bervoets. Their aim was to provide medical assistance for health institutions in the former Dutch East Indies. Ever since, Simavi has been working to improve standards of health in developing countries.
Simavi was an acronym for Steun Inzake Medische Aangelegenheden Voor Inheemschen (Support for Medical Affairs for Indonesians). In its early years, Simavi shipped medicines, essentiall health supplies and resources over the ocean to support the work of medical missionary staff.
Over the course of its history, Simavi expanded the scale of their operations and activities.
Simavi has worked with over 30 million people in thousands of high-impact projects and is active in nine countries: Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Simavi is now working supporting local CSOs and initiatives, shifting from transporting medicines to working with an integrated approach on local, national and international levels.
Simavi believes in A Healthy Life for All. Simavi strives for a world in which all women and girls are socially and economically empowered, and pursue their rights to live a healthy life free from discrimination, coercion and violence
Geographic FocusBangladesh, Nepal, India, Ghana, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda
‘- Bodily autonomy
– Sexual and reproductive health and rights
– gender based violence
– women’s social and economic empowerment
– water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)