The website was originally set up in July 2004 by a stoma wearer, Eliene.
She was given an ileostomy in March 2004. The first thing she did was to seek information on the internet about stomas. Because she felt that she could find too little information, she had the idea of making her own website, so that everyone following on from her, looking for information about stomas could search in a good but also a pleasant site.
It began with a simple, free website full of adverts and without its own domain name. At the end of 2004, a simple forum was added, because many people who signed the guestbook wanted contact with others.
In February 2005 we got our own domain name, so that the website could be easier to find. The name was thought of when Eliene the word “stoma” inserted in a search engine. She came then onto a website with a recipe for cherry tomatoes, from which she took the name “Stomaatje”. Through positive reactions and the many visitors, the website swiftly grew.
On 30 August 2005 the Stomaatje Foundation was set up. We had originally chosen to remain a simple website, but it grew into something more official. We could search for sponsors and donors, private and business were separated, and there came a director. Because we wished to be a foundation as transparent as possible, and wished everyone to see what we did with our income, we placed our expenses online. Because we do as much as possible via the internet, even general meetings (via Skype), we limit our costs.
In January 2006 there came a new forum with much more possibilities, and we also began to organise outings. That is how we mainly celebrated our first anniversary. There also came a separate newsletter for sponsors and forum members. In September 2006 a new website came online.
After that it went quickly and we were noticed by doctors, nurses, students, stoma wearers, the media and other people and instances. We found our first sponsors, people began to make donations, we had flyers and business cards made, and appeared in magazines, newspapers, on the radio, were able to speak at a congress and appeared several times on television. We gained extra domain names such as stomaforum.nl and stomalinks.nl. And there also came a web shop, you could send e-cards, fill in polls and appear on the stoma wall. We had to step over to a professional provider because the visitor numbers grew so quickly we could no longer use a “simple provider”. And we also opened, with help from our sponsor,
our own post office box.
We launched a new initiative on 28 January 2008: Design your stoma. Hereby volunteers make bag covers and bands. We try with this to make a stoma nicer and a less heavy subject. Covers for your stoma bag in all sorts of colours and sizes, for men and women but also for children. The stoma bands are in lace and smooth material. An initiative which is going well and there is much need for it. For and by ostomists.
Meanwhile we have a new Dutch forum since April 2009 (see the picture beneath), our English version of Stomaatje has been online since June 2009, and we are already busy behind the scenes with a new website.
We can say with pride that
Stomaatje has grown to a well run foundation that is
completely run by volunteers. Increasing numbers of
people come to help us, beneath can you see how the
group of volunteers looks. And so meanwhile we have
collected many more people who stand by us by word
and deed, for example with the translation of the
Dutch website into other languages. Also meanwhile
we have contact with companies, authorities and
doctors/nurses, who we can contact for advice.
On the following pages you can read more about our
objectives, activities etc.