The Society of Humanitarianism was intended for deprived families from the west of the country. They had to be transformed into decent citizens and become economically independent. Theirs was a life of hard work, low income and strict rules. The settlers lived in small houses, all equidistant along perfectly straight roads. When the goal of helping the poor build a dignified existence proved to be unattainable, Willemsoord became a ‘normal’ village that was part of the surrounding area. Slowly and over time, the ‘colonial’ disappeared. The village, together with the settler villages Frederiksoord and Wilhelminaoord in Drenthe, has been nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The people spoke ‘differently’ in Willemsoord. It deviated a lot from the common dialect in the area. Their language was called ‘colonial’. This was because of the Maatschappij van Weldadigheid (Society of Humanitarianism), founded by general Johannes van den Bosch in 1820.