Lourens de Jong studied so-called “geography of developing countries” at the universities of Groningen and Utrecht (Netherlands). During his studies, he moved to Berlin in 1983, where he completed a minor subject at the FU and soon became active in the so-called “Third World Education and Action Center” (BAZ) in Berlin, where he ran the so-called “Third World Bookshop” on a voluntary and full-time basis for many years. In addition, he led many international workcamps at the ijgd (International Youth Community Services) and was a member of the Ghana-AG, which cooperated with projects in Ghana, after having participated in various international workcamps in Ghana and Togo in 1981. In 1992 he got a permanent position at the ijgd as coordinator for international volunteer services in countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has set up and managed various programmes for many years: international workcamps (outgoing and incoming), medium-term “unregulated” volunteer services, accompanying language courses, weltwärts North-South with more than 100 volunteers annually and the weltwärts-South-North programme with up to 42 volunteers. He was on the advisory board since the beginning of the weltwärts program, later renamed PSA (program steering committee). In addition, he was the coordinator of integrative youth camps for children and young people with and without disabilities for another 10 years.
Since 1.3.2020 he has taken over the management of ventao. In addition to the administrative tasks of the association, he is especially responsible for advising the member organisations and representing ventao in the programme steering committee and is active in many working groups of the joint venture. In addition, he is in charge of the contacts at ventao for visa and security in Bolivia, Peru, Mozambique and South Africa.
Nathalie Bambalinkenga has been supporting the accounting of ventao since late 2014. Sie is originally from Rwanda, where she worked for the Minitry of Finance as a tax auditor. In 1996 she came as a refugee to Germany. Here Nathalie finished a vocational training as a management assistant in wholesale and foreign trade. She has been a volunteer with the German Red Cross for many years.
Nathalie has two adult children.
Nina Palm joined ventao in May 2019. Nina is responsible as a speaker* for quality management for consulting and support of the member organisations, especially in the context of external certification. Nina also organizes events and workshops, writes handouts and newsletters, maintains the website and facebook. Nina represents ventao in the quality working group and shares the manifold tasks in the quality association with Jan and Nathalie.
Nina studied German-French political science, sociology and social-solidarity economy in Eichstätt, Rennes and Montpellier, after Nina was part of the first weltwärts class of 2008. Nina subsequently gained experience in various roles in other development policy exchange programmes and is still active there on a voluntary basis. Nina lives in Berlin.
Katrin Konrad has been part of the ventao team since January 2020. She coordinates the project “SDGs in weltwärts – weltwärts in the SDGs” and, together with international experts, develops methods on SDG topics that are intended to be used explicitly for the educational accompaniment of weltwärts volunteers.
Katrin has been working in the field of political education / (power-critical) global learning as a speaker and project manager for more than 10 years. During her time at Informationsbüro Nicaragua, for example, she developed power-critical educational material on various global topics, such as Colonialism and racism, climate justice or criticism of capitalism. In addition, she was employed at Infobüro for 3 years as a project manager for the educational projects, trained multipliers and coordinated the work of teamers.
For about 1.5 years she has been part and founding member of the power-critical education collective f3_kollektiv (www.f3kollektiv.net) and, in addition to her work at ventao, puts a lot of passion into this project. At the moment she is working with her collective on methods on the subject of “power-critical perspectives on digitization” and, for example, deals with feminist perspectives on digitization.