Meet the team of 2019-2020

We are a non-profit organization and all members of Right2Education are volunteers. Together, we are working towards building a community and bridging the gap between outsiders and insiders.

Kia Mikkonen

Internal communications

My journey with Right2Education began when I first moved to Amsterdam in the fall of 2017. I first signed up as a buddy and later as a student in the Dutch class. Now two years later, I have spent a year working as one of the Buddy System and Events Co-Coordinators and am currently the Internal Communications Manager. During these two years I have learned many incredibly important things. Besides learning Dutch (which was an incredibly important experience for me!) my buddies, the other guest students, Board members and our lovely teachers have taught me how important it is to be grateful and excited about all the small and big things in life.

As the Internal Communications Manager I have an overview of what is going within the board, make sure that everything runs smoothly and am ready to jump into different projects when needed. I am looking forward to the new challenges that this position brings with it, but most of all I am excited to get to know all the new people involved in Right2Education. Our guest students, teachers, buddies and board members are the people who make Right2Education a warm and fun-loving community, and it is a great pleasure to be a part of this!


Hanna Jaspers

Student coordinator

What I love most about Right2Education is the fact that it is based on reciprocity. The entire community is build on the idea that everyone brings something to the table and everyone is valued equally. I feel lucky to be part of a community that is based on positivity, exchange, and also a lot of fun. Right2Education is not just about teaching, it is about learning. Learning from and with each other. It provides the opportunity for everyone involved to grow as a person, to gain new skills, to find new friends.

As a student coordinator, I will be involved with all the needs of the students. I will be there to talk to students about their progress in the classes and about their well-being. Together with Bernice, we will make sure that the students are always heard and that their needs are satisfied. For upcoming year, I am excited to meet all the new students and to see how we can improve our classes!


Bernice Pang

Student coordinator

My passion for the cause started in 2015 when I had just started at an organization that was working towards providing underprivileged children with access to education. Volunteering there made me realize how removed I was from the community and has shown me the difference my actions can make in the lives of others. When looking for organizations in Amsterdam with which I could volunteer, I came across R2E. The more I discovered about the organization the more I knew it was the one! I feel so blessed to now be part of the board and am so excited for what the year has in store for us!

Together with my partner Hanna, being the student coordinator means that we are responsible for all things guest student-related, from the moment they sign-up until they have successfully completed all their courses with us at R2E. Throughout the academic year, we organize the application process, coordinate the classes and make sure that the well-being of our guest students is maintained. We are also always looking to improve what we do so that we can make every experience here with us as individualised as possible!


Joyce den Hertog

Academic and teacher coordinator

“I originally applied to be part of Right2Education, because I wanted to gain experience in the field of education, since it is one of my many interests. I really love helping people out in their learning process, seeing them grow in their knowledge and simultaneously getting to know each other better. Right2Education therefore, seemed like a perfect opportunity to be able to do this more often. However, now that I really am involved, I have learned that Right2Education is so much more than just teaching. To me, Right2Education means friendship, sharing values and cultures, seeing each other develop and grow not only in skills, but also as a person. I get so much joy and energy out of being part of the board, it really is rewarding.

My task in the board as Academic and Teacher coordinator is making sure that all classes happen and run smoothly. I will choose the teachers, help them get acquainted with the materials, evaluate them and the classes, regularly meet up with them and create new courses. I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities that this new year will bring the organisation!”


Gabby Nzuki

Academic and teacher coordinator

“I am a second year social sciences student at AUC. My concentration is Environmental Policy and Law. In the 2019-2020 academic year, I will be acting as the Academic Teacher Coordinator alongside Joyce. I hope to help facilitate a more cohesive learning environment and syllabus for the future students.


Phili Cool

External communications

During the perceived refugee crisis, I was working in a refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece. After coming back to the Netherlands I wanted to stay involved. I got introduced to Right2Education and immediately, I wanted to be involved. Right2Education offers such a wonderful combination of education, culture and especially reciprocity. Furthermore, Right2Education does something very important, it brings together like minded students, from all over the world and encourages people to step outside of their bubble and help, within a safe and positive environment.

I’m very excited to be working with this organization on the other side of this ‘crisis’. I’ll be taking on the role of external relations and public relations. This entails that I will be a point of contact for other organization, working towards goals related to ours. I’m very excited to connect with others working at similar organizations!”


Noah van Genuchten

Treasurer and acquisitions

“I became involved with Right2Education during my first year at Amsterdam University College (AUC), by enrolling in the buddy program. The shared dinners, karaoke nights or museum visits with the guest students were always a great experience. I was impressed with how the founders of this initiative were able to establish this concept within and around Amsterdam, working together with different parties to facilitate the guest students with even more than the language classes. Being part of Right2Education this year is a wonderful thing and together with this year’s team I look forward to taking this initiative further.

I will be this year’s Treasurer/Head of Acquisitions which means I will be taking care of the financial administration and funding of Right2Education. My predecessors have put considerable effort in establishing a valuable network of partners, for which I admire them. For this year, I hope to establish new connections and find new ways through which our organisation can grow, so we can integrate new ideas into our existing events and language classes.”


Eline Koopman

Buddy's and events coordinator

I first got involved with Right2Education as a buddy during my first year of AUC. I really enjoyed the ‘gezellige’ potlucks, games nights and sports events. Those weekly events were often filled with laughter, music and sharing stories about everyday life. Meeting new people from so many different countries and cultures is what I’ve loved the most. Moreover, it is what I will be the most excited about while working as one of the buddy and event coordinators, together with Emilie.

Education is something that I have always taken for granted up till now. The fact that within the R2E community the value of education and the social aspect are combined, is what particularly attracted me the most. Wanting to be further involved in the R2E community, I applied for the position of buddy and event coordinator. By organizing the weekly events together with Emilie, I hope to create a place where everyone can unwind, that brings the guest students and buddies closer together and create new shared memories!”


Emilie Tesch

Buddy's and events coordinator

Before I applied for a position in the board, I had a wonderful experience as a buddy during my first first year as a student at Amsterdam University College. I loved everything about the buddy program; from the cooking and sporting activities, to just talking about where we come from and sharing our hopes and dreams. Right2Education is about much more than just language courses for people with a refugee background. To me, R2E, is mainly about making friends who might not have the same background as you, but with whom you have much more in common than you might think.

Together with Eline, as Buddies and Events coordinators, we take care of the planning of the weekly events for everyone involved with Right2Education. We hope that through these events, we will be able to bring friends and future friends together. See you at one of our events!”

The founders of Right2Education

Ellen Ackroyd
Nini Pieters
Merel Kuijs
Tamara Happé
Andrea Haefner
Tanushree Kaushal
Lena Reim
Els van Dam

Our Advisory Board

Dr. Sennay Ghebreab

AUC Management Representative

Dr. Anne de Graaf

Chief Diversity Officer at the UvA

Michael Vermeer

AUC Alumni

Loes Laetemia

Gastvrij Oost Representative

Prof. Dr. Halleh Ghorashi

VU Representative

Dr. Diederik van Werven

AUC Faculty Representative