We named our Foundation in honor of Broos (1821-1880) a 19th century Surinamese freedom fighter, who spent his life opposing oppression.
He was the leader of the Bakabusi Suma or ‘Brooskampers’, a group of Maroons who settled in the town of Rorac around the abolition of slavery in 1863. A true anti-slavery hero.
The Bakabusi Suma lived in the forest far away from the plantations from which they had previously fled. Their habitat, also called Kaaimangrasi, was barely accessible to armed settlers looking for them. The first Maroons lived here as early as 1740.
They often fought against the white settlers and plantation owners. In 1760, a hundred years before the abolition of slavery, the Ndyuka had already concluded a peace treaty with the colonial government and were therefore free and independent.
The camp of Broos and his younger brother Kaliko (born in 1835) was located in the extensive swamps at the upper reaches of the Surnaukreek, a tributary of the Suriname River. Just before the abolition of slavery, the Brooskampers resisted a last attempt by the government to force them to return to the plantations. This with the aim of making the former slave owners eligible for the state compensation per slave. However, the patrol members failed in their intent and retreated to the Rac à Rac plantation. Captain Broos thus became a well-known Surinamese independence fighter.
Broos is the only Surinamese freedom fighter who has been photographed (or at least preserved). The black-and-white photo probably dates from 1862 when Broos was in Paramaribo to conclude a peace agreement with Governor-General Van Lansberge. It is then that he received the title of Kapten from the government and was officially assigned to Rorac, a long-abandoned sugar plantation.
After the emancipation of 1 July 1863, the Brooskampers settled permanently in Rorac. Among them are Broos’ brother Kaliko, his sister Mandrijntje, his mother Ma Uwa and his grandmother Ma Amba, who was still born in Africa, in Ghana. Three families emerged from Broos’ camp, of which Babel and Landveld are the largest. However, the Deekman family contains the most direct descendants.