The story of  Marco  Kerkhof

(a volunteer physiotherapist in rural parts of the African country Zambia)

Marco Kerkhof between Switzerland and Zambia

Marco is A Dutch physiotherapist with 30 years of experience.  he is working in 2 different worlds, the first, a Physiotherapist in Switzerland that even takes ESP Students for Internships, the fisioterapiaacquasana, next to it he runs the Bluspring in Africa, by promoting projects to help people with physical problems and difficulties.

Read his story and find out how you can help as a physiotherapy student.

Marco Kerkhof a volunteering physiotherapist

I’m a Dutch Physical-therapist, already working 30 years in the southern part of Switzerland in my own small clinic.
During several visits as a volunteer physiotherapist in a children’s Home and experiences in rural parts of the African country Zambia, I realized that we as physical therapists can help a lot with our professional knowledge in developing countries.

The story behind Bluspring

During my time in Africa, I realized that we as physical therapists can help a lot with our professional knowledge in developing countries. This is why together with a group of friends and two other physiotherapists I founded a non-profit organization “BLUSPRING ASSWCIAZIONE”

What do we do at Bluspring

We are promoting projects to help people with physical problems and difficulties in developing countries with professional sanitary help, education, financial aid and donation of materials.

Express the focus behind the well-being and care for people

The idea is just like our name. Blue is a color associated with depth and stability, beneficial to the mind and body: properties that express the focus behind the well-being and care for people. Spring, a season and a freshwater source, symbolizing a fresh and bright new beginning. It can also represent a jump or an elastic device that allows flexibility and an explosive movement. Characteristics that associate well with the aim and mission of the Blu Spring foundation.(Idea and design by Casey Eastwell)


Current projects

In January this year we made our first experience in Nepal and Actually we are in the middle of a project to transport a Container with 166 special children’s wheelchairs from Australia to Zambia, where they will be distributed to 5 local non profit organisations who will together with us assemble the chairs and individually fit the chairs for disabled.


How can we help

The main problem is that there are not enough healthcare professionals in Zambia and developing countries in general.Marco himself goes to this orphanage once/twice a year for 2 or 3 weeks but he is looking for anybody with a physiotherapy educational background (ESP students or not) that would like to visit this orphanage and continue the therapy with the kids in order to ensure a more constant treatment program throughout the year.

Would you like to know how can you help?
Please visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook!

The ESP Internship connection

Isotta did her previous internship with Marco as her CI, she wanted to share how she got familiar with Bluspring.

When I started planning my second clinical internship, I knew I wanted it to be in a private practice in the Italian part of Switzerland; so I decided to try and find a placement that would meet these criteria through the internet. I came across Fisioterapia Acquasana which is a private practice in Muralto and I got in contact with Marco, the physiotherapist who was going to be my Clinical Instructor. During the 10 weeks (November 13th, 2017 – January 26th, 2018) I saw myself growing as a person and as a physiotherapist. I am thankful for the trustworthy and friendly relationships I could develop with both patients and the team. I had a great learning and professional experience which made me fully understand what being a physiotherapist means and how satisfying this profession can be. During my internship, Marco also explained to me his work in Africa as a volunteer physiotherapist through his organization, Blu Spring. I helped him translate the website in Italian and that is how I got to know more about it. I find it very admirable and interesting; even though it is still just an idea, I want to integrate his work with Blu Spring as part of my thesis and maybe join him during one of his trips to Africa in the near future.”