At Zorgboerderij Reek children can come for themselves

Riekie Kappen owned a care farm for fifteen years on the spot where she used to run a dairy farm with her husband, Rick. In addition to daytime activities for adults, children who stumble upon education are also tutored here.

It is disturbing to see: an eight-year-old boy spontaneously visits Zorgboerderij Reek. He stayed for a while on the farm a few years ago. He could still remember exactly how things went. It also remembers the names of the moderators. Riekie Kappen patiently answers all his questions. After a cuddle with the dog and five, he continues happily. “Feel free to come back again,” she smiles as she leaves.

When the boy is gone, the farmer looking after him says, “That’s what we all do for him. It’s been four years since this little boy has been here, but he still comes back to look and the memories. I’m glad he’s doing better now. I hope he’ll come too.” Our Open Day with Parents: Friday 24th (Healthcare workers only) and Saturday 25th June.

Guest house and private education

Zorgboerderij Reek has existed since 2007. At first it was a guest house for children who were overcrowded in the house. For several years now, Care Farm has also been providing special education to children who, for whatever reason, can no longer continue in school.

Teachers often don’t know what to do with these students anymore

Ricky Cabin, Care Farm Rick

We started in the time of Corona. At the time, I called a kid who was no longer welcome at his old school after boarding. At the same time, I spoke to a former colleague with educational experience, who saw opportunities to mentor this child. This is how we started on a small scale,’ explains Cabin.

Agriculture and Welfare Association

Thousands of children aged six to fifteen are expelled from school each year, according to research by Wageningen University & Research and the Union for Agriculture and Welfare, of which Zorgboerderij Reek is also a member.

“Teachers often don’t know what to do with these students,” says the Brabant entrepreneur. “These kids risk falling between the rocks in this way. For this reason, we have started offering education to children from this target group in our company. Without any form of advertising, we already have five students. Next year we hope to be able to increase that number to ten to Twelve students We mainly focus on children from the Oss-Wijchen-Maashorst region.


Children can visit Zorgboerderij Reek from Monday to Thursday and are supervised by a professional team of experienced teachers and supervisors. “With kids who are new here, we always look first at how they feel about themselves. They are often overstimulated or have had to deal with negative experiences on so many levels that they get stuck in school and can no longer keep up. This is why In that it is important that they regain their senses first, explains teacher Nancy Gelderman.

Education here is adapted to what the child can handle and needs. They learn here in a fun and experiential way. We give children a good balance between education, being outdoors, and dealing with and caring for animals. There are calves, sheep, chickens, pigs, ponies, rabbits and cats here. We also have a greenhouse and a vegetable garden. As a result, there is always something to be done in terms of care, maintenance, repair or repair,” says Gelderman.

regain confidence

The focus of students here is on regaining self-confidence, gaining successful experiences, and learning by doing. Then we’ll look at what works best for the student. Where can it flow better? Our approach is to prepare children as best as possible to return to formal or special education, the teacher explains.

Care Farm Reek was initially a guest house for children with overloads at home. © Studio Van Assendelft

According to Capen, it wasn’t easy to start providing education on her pasture farm. Funding in particular has been a stumbling block. This is done through the Social Support Act, the Long-Term Care Act and the Youth Care-Based Care in Nature or Personal Budget Act, she explains.


“Through the collaboration between the Ministries of Health and Education, a budget has been made for educational care arrangements and a pilot with education in care farms. Of course we would like to join this pilot program, so that we can help more children who might drop out.

In addition, Zorgboerderij Reek offers daytime activities for adults. Gelderman: “In practice, we see that our activities for children and adults compliment each other. There is a mutual understanding and we often notice that children cling to adults.

Ricky Cabin, Care Farm Rick
Riekie Kappen, Reek Care Farm © Studio Van Assendelft

Company details

Riekie Kappen founded Zorgboerderij Reek in 2007. At first it was a guest farm for children who were overburdened at home. For several years now, Care Farm has also been providing special education to children who can no longer continue at their current school. In addition, Zorgboerderij Reek offers daytime activities for adults.

Leave a Comment