Founded by anthropologist Thomas Polimé in 1984, Wooko Makandie supports the integration and personal growth of Maroon and other young people in the Netherlands and abroad through education, training, and cultural initiatives rooted in traditional and contemporary hand skills.

Our Journey until now

The foundation, established by Thomas Polimé in 1984, aims to provide opportunities for Surinamese youth, taking care of the future of our community


Founded in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

100+ people reached

Wooko Makandie has positively impacted young Maroons and others through education, training, and cultural initiatives.

4 Team members

Our dedicated team i committed to empowering and uplifting Maroon youth around the world.


Since 1984 our foundation aims to provide opportunities for Surinamese youth, particularly those unemployed, to develop skills and find employment. Initially focused on Maroon and other Surinamese youth in Nieuwegein and Utrecht, the foundation offered workshops in traditional crafts and machinery operation. These efforts successfully led many participants to employment, enhancing their societal involvement. Over time, the foundation expanded to include cultural exchanges and exhibitions across Europe, promoting Surinamese cultural heritage. Known as Wooko Makandie, the foundation operates under Dutch law and is dedicated to preserving the culture and heritage of the Maroon community in the Netherlands, Suriname, and other diaspora countries. It also aims to document the community’s history, contributing to both Surinamese and Dutch heritage


In 2012 Thomas Polimé, an anthropologist specialized in the Ndyuka culture and also descended of this community, founded Wooko Makandie. He founded the foundation to promote and support initiatives of young people without jobs and encourage integration and personal growth of Maroons and other young people in the Netherlands and abroad. The foundation activities where based on traditional Surinamese Maroon hand skills and contemporary hand skills in the field of education, training, culture and work and everything that is related or conducive to this. Through the years the activities of the foundation grew into what it is today.


Since 2020, Thomas Polimé made way for a new board and handed total governance over to the new enthusiastic board in 2022:


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Jobun Polimé

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Jobun Polimé, a consultant at Deloitte, also chairs the Wooko Makandie foundation, focused on preserving Maroon culture. Through collaboration, they've launched impactful projects like the 'Hidden colonial heritage back to the people' exhibition, highlighting the importance of safeguarding Maroon culture. Jobun finds fulfillment in making a societal impact while rediscovering his identity.


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Megaidi Pinas-Pieroelie

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Megaidi is a legal advisor at the Judicial Information Service of the Ministry of Justice and Security. She has social engagement as main pillar in all the work she does. Being a board member of Wooko Makandie hits home for her as she was raised in an Ndjuka household where the customs where and still are of great importance. As a board member she hopes to strengthen her knowledge of what the heritage entails en to pay it forward.


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Melissa Pesna

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She grew up in a very mulitcultural environment traveling between Grand Santi, her family's kampu in French Guiana, and Maseille. Her parents are French and Ndjuka. She has a master degree in translation and is currently developing her own business. She joined Wooko Makandie to learn more about her history and culture and to help share it.

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