Sweating for Charity

On September 12th, 2015, a brave sister and brother, Stefanie and Allard Heerema, participated in the triathlon of Almere.

Stefanie (l) and Allard Heerema (r)

They had two goals. 1: Completing the triathlon within their target time of 6 hours and 15 minutes, and 2: Raising as much as possible funds while doing so. Luckily, they succeeded in both! Stefanie and Allard raised an incredible amount of €2500!

They are donating these funds to two causes; The Masarang Foundation and the Sintang Orangutan Center (one of Willie’s other projects), and the funds will be split 50/50 over these causes.

The funds for Masarang will be used for building a retort in which biochar can be produced. Biochar is a pure form of carbon that increases the availability of the soil to absorb water and nutrients indefinitely. This is very much needed in locations where the soil quality is very poor, such as in large areas of the West Kalimantan province.

Allard in full action!

Stefanie in full action!

In that region, farmers normally burn their old plantations to create a fertile soil (the so-called “slash and burn agriculture”), which allows them to plant rice, but this method mostly only works once or twice. If the farmers use a mixture of compost and biochar, they can increase the production by 4 to 7 times, without any chemicals or negative effects for the environment, and at the same time store CO2 in the ground indefinitely.

The slash and burn agriculture is a hot topic at the moment since part of the destructive forest fires that are raging through Borneo and Sumatra at the moment are cause by this method of agriculture. Teaching the farmers to use biochar instead could have a huge positive impact.


On behalf of Masarang, a big thank you to Stephanie and Allard for this fantastic achievement and this great support!