Young Experts

Elsabijn Marike Koelman

Elsabijn Marike Koelman

YEP period 2014 - 2016, batch 3

Young Expert at Rain Foundation - Kenya

First position after YEP

Business Manager at Integrity, United Kingdom

YEP Role

Through the Young Expert Program Water, I was working as a Junior Project Officer for RAIN and ICRAF to support the Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SEARNET). SEARNET has played an important role in linking national and international rainwater associations in Southern and Eastern Africa. I was based in Nairobi, Kenya at the ICRAF office, where I was focusing on building new partnerships and support for Rainwaterharvesting. By ensuring that members of SEARNET become more engaged in the network and increasing the visibility of the network through communications and public relations, I hope to share the benefits of Rainwaterharvesting through Southern and Eastern Africa.

Click here for more information about my project.



During my Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences and Master’s degree in Conflict Studies, I have built up considerable analytical skills when carrying out field research in Africa and writing my theses in the field of International Development and Sustainability. I am a networker and have built up skills in intercultural communication, the use of social media, and public relations. I am a team player with patience, flexibility and cultural sensitivity.



Nationality: Dutch
Education: BA in Liberal Arts an Sciences at University College Utrecht, specializations: International Development, International Relations and Human Rights Law. MA in Conflict Studies and Human Rights, specialization: Equality of rights in the Constitution Building Process in Zimbabwe


Experience before YEP

Country Specialist Southern Africa at Amnesty International Netherlands

  • responsible for initiating campaign and lobby actions to support Human Rights Defenders
  • monitoring and Documenting the regional Human Rights Situation

2013 – 2014
Policy Officer at Friends Indeed Association, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  • Public Relations and Social Media Communication
  • Facilitator in workshops, presentations and conferences
  • Fundraising activities and keeping donors/partners well-informed

Trainee at the Netherlands Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe

  • Managing Social Media Communications and Public Relations
  • Writing and editting the Netherlands Embassy website
  • Networking with local and regional Civil Society Organisations

Volunteer at Friends Indeed/ARDAR, Andhra Pradesh, India

  • Mobilising local actors to implement projects and programs
  • Helping plan and set up the education development program for the Campus Challenge project and schools in 3 districts

2011- 2012
Intern at ONEforONE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Planning marketing and social media strategy for social enterprise
  • Evaluating the outcome of water projects in Africa for annual report
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Organisation: Rain Foundation
Young Experts