Team and Organisation
The Rutu Foundation was established in 2011 and focused on mother-tongue based multilingual education projects in Suriname, expanding quickly to Mexico thereafter. Following a major strategic planning exercise in 2015 we have a new mission and scope of activity as platform for the mother tongue education domain globally. Our new mission can be found here.
The reports below outline achievements prior to our new mission and vision.
- Annual Report 2015 and Financial Statement 2015
- Annual Report 2014 and Financial Statement 2014.
- Annual Report 2013 and Financial Statement 2013.
Ellen-Rose Kambel – executive director/founder
Ellen-Rose Kambel is co-founder of the Rutu Foundation. She has over 15 years of experience as a trainer and consultant working for indigenous peoples and international organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Rainforest Foundation-US. She is a lawyer and obtained a PhD on the rights of indigenous peoples. At Rutu she is responsible for programming, fundraising and external contacts. Since 2016 she has a parttime appointment at the University of Amsterdam as post-doctoral researcher, with a focus on mother tongue education and translanguaging as a pedagogic strategy for multilingual classrooms.
“I have witnessed how destructive education systems can be for indigenous and ethnic minority children. But I have also seen different, better examples. Intercultural multilingual education gives children the tools to prepare themselves for the future, but also to maintain and develop their cultural identity. I founded the Rutu Foundation in an effort to contribute to this process.”
For the last ten years, Sietske de Haan has been the managing director of a youth theater company, an theater producer based in Amsterdam and a theater production house. Sietske looks after the finances and the organization of Rutu and supports Ellen-Rose and Astrid in fundraising, marketing and PR activities.
Astrid van den Berg works as a freelance writer, communications consultant and trainer. Previously, she worked as a journalist and as a copywriter and creative director for BBK/DoorVriendschapSterker, an agency specialized in communication for social organizations. Astrid is responsible for the external communication of the Rutu Foundation.
Carmen Stella – fundraising
Carmen Stella worked for 25 years as senior human resource management advisor. She currently provides language and empowerment training for expats in Amsterdam and is an independent organization management coach. Carmen is responsible for fundraising and donor relations.
Ralph Schreinemachers- senior trainer
As a trainer and consultant, Ralph has gained extensive expertise about leadership, collaboration, organizational development and dialogue. He has developed training programmes around the world and is the founder of UWC Xperience: a training programme with an annual reach of 5,000 students. He has worked with very diverse groups (CEOs, indigenous leaders, government officials) and has worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program and the Earth University (Costa Rica). At the Rutu Foundation, Ralph is responsible for the design of tailored training programmes for teachers and teacher trainers.
Paul Wolvekamp (Chair)
Paul Wolvekamp is co-director of Both ENDS. He is vice chair of the NFTP Exchange Programme, chair of the Forest Peoples Programme and coordinator of the Dispute Settlement Facility working group of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). He is also member of the Supervisory Board of IUCN Nederlands Comité and a member of the Commissie Duurzaamheidsvraagstukken Biomassa (‘Commissie Corbey’). He has written and edited several publications, including ‘Forests for the Future‘ (1999) and ‘Purposes and uses of a commonly structured Dispute Settlement Facility’ (2010).
Tswi Rodrigues Pereira
Tswi Rodrigues Pereira is founding partner at Pereira Tax Consultants in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Salim Vally is the director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation and an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg. He is also the coordinator of the Education Rights Project. He holds degrees from the universities of York, the Witwatersrand and the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has been a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Virginia, Columbia and York. Salim is also a visiting professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. His academic interests include education and social policy; critical and liberatory pedagogies; teacher education and development; curriculum issues; and participatory action research and transdisciplinary and comparative approaches to critically examining education policy and practice.
International Advisory Board
The international advisory board provides advice to the foundation to help shape its strategy, form partnerships and define programmes.
Jenne de Beer is the founder of the Non-Timber Forest Product Exchange Programme for South and South East Asia; a collaborative network of community based organizations and NGOs with the goal to strengthen the capacity of forest communities to sustainably manage and use forest resources. Jenne is currently currently involved in a cultural revival initiative with the Negrito – ethnic groups with a hunter gatherer background – of the Philippines. The activities include the development of educational materials for tribal schools..
Carol Benson is an international consultant on language issues in education, currently teaching at Teachers College Columbia University, USA after many years at Stockholm University in Sweden. She has guided the development of mother tongue curriculum by national professionals, trained teachers and researchers in mother tongue-based multilingual education and provided technical assistance to educational reform programs that emphasize learner-centered pedagogy and democratic participation. Her work experience spans the globe and she has published extensively on language and education. Her most recent publication is Benson, C. & Kosonen, K. (eds) (2013) Language Issues in Comparative Education: Inclusive teaching and learning in non-dominant languages and cultures. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Deena Hurwitz is Professor of Law, International Human Rights Law Clinic at the Washington College of Law, American University, USA. She and her students have prepared training modules on the rights of indigenous peoples to education and non-discrimination, freedom from gender based violence, property and inheritance, including in Suriname. Her interests include the Middle East, human rights and Islam, state responsibility and gender justice, and global legal education.
Emmanuelle is assistant professor at the department of Modern Languages at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). She has been involved in the European Comenius project Transitions and Multilingualism (TRAM). The goal of this project was to provide preschool and primary school teachers with skills that would allow them to better support children with different ethnic backgrounds and mother tongues. In May 2014, she was invited to Paramaribo (Suriname) to train teachers. She is the author of several scientific papers on plurilingualism and at present divides her time between linguistic research and teaching.
Martha Many Grey Horses
Martha Many Grey Horses is member of the Kainai First Nation, Blackfoot Confederacy, Alberta (Canada) and a fluent speaker of the Blackfoot language. She has Master’s degrees in Social Work and Education and received a doctorate in Education Studies from Arbor University in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her dissertation focused on the reading performance of American Indian children in secondary public schools in the USA. She has worked at the First Nations Center, National Aboriginal Health Organization, where she produced a Language Revitalization Toolkit and a Traditional Knowledge Toolkit: “A Gift of Love – A Cultural Backpack for First Nations Youth of Canada.” Martha is currently Director of the First Nations Métis and Inuit Centre, University of Lethbridge, Canada.
Carol Anne Spreen is Professor of International Education Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, U.S.A. Her research centers on political and socio-cultural studies of educational change, particularly the influences of globalization on teaching and learning. Internationally, she has worked with many educational development and planning organizations, and assisted numerous schools, districts and educational Ministries with various reform innovations. Carol Anne lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.A.
Sabine Severiens is Professor of Education at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, with a special focus on diversity. She has devoted most of her research to diversity and inequality in education. She was managing director of the Risbo Institute in Rotterdam, an independent research institute at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. In 2014 she was appointed as Professor in Education at the University of Amsterdam with a special focus on education for vulnerable children. Sabine was part of the Supervisory Board of the Rutu Foundation until 2014.
Photos: Julie Sutton, Rian van Wijk, Ralph Schreinemachers, Maggie Schmeitz and from own archive.