Young Expert at Beyond Beans - Ghana
YEP period 2020 - 2022, batch 19
As Project Manager Environment at Beyond Beans in Ghana, I work together with a motivated team of local and international colleagues to make the cocoa sector more sustainable. I am dividing my attention between our international clients and headquarters, and the fieldwork on the ground. I love to see our projects for myself, which allows me to gain a better understanding of the sometimes complex realities in the field, which I can use to improve ongoing activities and develop new project proposals. My work is focused on the farm (increasing sustainable cocoa yields and agroforestry) and off the farm (protecting existing forests and restoring degraded lands).
Strong listener to everyone, both in the field and in the office; making sure that everyone feels heard and understood. Not by being naïve, but by earnestly looking at opportunities to improve the situation for all. I manage my team members in a way that challenges them and gives them the opportunity to be creative and excel at what they do. Flexible attitude - not easily deterred by a setback. Patient when there are no other options to speed up the process. Strong analytical skills to fully grasp a complex issue.
- Nationality: Dutch
- Education: MSc Forest and Nature Conservation (Sustainable Development Diplomacy) at Wageningen University
Experience before YEP
Before moving to Ghana I worked for two years for the local Dutch government in the city of Nijmegen. As a trainee, I got the opportunity to explore many different topics, mainly related to sustainability, such as the European Green Capital Award for Nijmegen in 2018. Before that, I got some African experience in Kenya, where I did my thesis on forest management and community development. Also, I have done an internship at the UN in Geneva on global deforestation, and I was part of the District Committee Gelderland at Natuurmonumenten for 3 years.