historical women

write the future by writing your history

Meet the historical women

Whether you lived in the sixteenth century or are living today, everybody has a unique story. Read the histories of Juliana’s, Louise’s, Charlotte’s, Selma’s, Naila’s and Wouke’s lives and discover how love, success, motherhood and mourning connect women of all times with each other.

Between 3 June and 18 July 2021 we ventured into the city. We invite all women of Delft to share their stories. About what they want to pass on to the next generations, so together we can get a more complete picture of our times. New stories will be added to this page every week.

"Every generation has to do better than the previous one”. Helen Patterson-Skinner – 71 years old

I was born in 1950 in the Nieuw Nickerie district of the former Dutch colony Suriname.
My mother, Maybel Patterson, was born in 1921 in Nieuw Nickerie, Suriname, but grew up in the British colony Guyana. When she was 19, she returned to her birthplace in Suriname. 
I come from a hardworking working-class family. There were few opportunities for self-improvement in our world. My family nevertheless thought it was important we kept doing our best to get ahead. Girls were especially encouraged to do so. They were told: “Your diploma is your husband.” It is a familiar saying in Suriname. The lack of opportunities for development was the main reason for us to go to the Netherlands.

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RespectHennie de Groot-Heupner – 69 years old

My name is Hennie. I live here in Poptapark. I am retired, but I still work in healthcare. Taking care of people is, in fact, my passion. Helping people, seeing what their attitude towards life is, what they have experienced. I work with older people who are beginning to suffer from dementia. That is very satisfying to me. I am a very caring type of person, my children say so, too. It is who I am and how I was brought up. My father used to say: ‘You should always give a guest the best seat in your house.’ I thought then: yes, that is right, in fact. And it not only applies to family but also to people I hardly know.  

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"Find yourself, stay upright. ”Cheraldine Osepa

My name is Cheraldine Osepa. I was born on Curaçao. My mother is no longer alive, but my father is. He is 85 now. My mother passed away in 2015. My mother was a very, very clever woman. Quite strict, but her goal was to make all of us successful, for everybody to study and certainly to be able to look after ourselves in life. I studied in Tilburg and Tilburg has an affinity with Curaçao through the brothers of Tilburg and the fathers of Breda. 

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Delft was het eerste wat ik in Nederland heb gezienKataryna Akulich – 28 jaar

Ik ben in Oekraïne geboren en opgegroeid in een goede en grote stad in het oosten van Oekraïne. Daar heb ik gestudeerd, samen met mijn man. Wij kennen elkaar al 20 jaar. Ik heb biofysica gestudeerd. Tijdens mijn studie ontmoette ik ook mijn beste vriendin, die honden trainde voor hondenshows. Toen werd ik hondenfotograaf. Ik fotografeerde verschillende puppy’s voor kennels en fokkers en tijdens hondenshows moest ik ook honden fotograferen. Dat was mijn beroep in Oekraïne.

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Verbintenis met DelftLilian Cooper

Toen ik vijf jaar was, ben ik van Frankrijk naar Engeland verhuisd en op mijn zestiende kwam ik met mijn ouders vanuit Engeland naar Nederland toe. We woonden een paar maanden hier in Delft. Mijn Nederlandse familie komt uit Den Haag en mijn moeder wilde terug naar Nederland, zij was half Nederlands. Mijn vader had een baan gekregen in Den Haag en toevallig kwamen wij in Delft terecht, maar ik had niet verwacht dat ik het zo’n leuke stad zou vinden. Ik was op slag verliefd en heb het altijd in mijn achterhoofd gehouden als plek waar ik zou willen wonen.

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