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. In 2013 we started activities in the Netherlands. Through our European partnership (AVIOR) we currently work on making bilingual teaching materials freely available to schools across Europe.

The reports below outline our achievements.

  • Annual Report 2017 and Financial Statement 2017
  • Annual Report 2016 and Financial Statement 2016
  • 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

ER 2018Dr. Ellen-Rose Kambel is co-founder of the Rutu Foundation. She holds a law degree and a PhD and has over 15 years of experience as a trainer and consultant for international organizations, including the European Commission, the Inter-American Development Bank, UNICEF, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Rainforest Foundation-US. At Rutu she is responsible for programming, fundraising and external contacts. In 2016 she was temporarily affiliated with the University of Amsterdam as post-doctoral researcher, with a focus translanguaging as a pedagogic strategy for multilingual classrooms. She is the (co)author of several books and articles on mother tongue and multilingual education.

“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, while maintaining and developing their cultural identity and the links to their family. I founded the Rutu Foundation in an effort to contribute to this process.”

Laurinde Koster – programme and research assistant
Laurinde obtained her second master’s degree in Multilingualism at the University of Groningen. She finished her bachelor study as an English language teacher and completed a first master in Foreign Language Acquisition in Copenhagen. At Rutu, Laurinde works among others on the AVIOR project.

Student Interns
For research, communication and the organisation of events, our interns are invaluable. If you are interested in an internship, are committed to delivering high quality work, don’t mind irregular hours and free lunches, send an email to

Supervisory Board

Paul Wolvekamp (Chair)

paul wPaul 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 fotoTswi Rodrigues Pereira is founding partner at Pereira Tax Consultants in The Hague, the Netherlands.



Salim Vally

S 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.

Carrie van der Kroon


Carrie van der Kroon is programme officer at Defence for Children – ECPAT Nederland. Carrie coordinates child rights programmes in the global south through partnerships with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On a freelance basis, Carrie trains and facilitates in international development and child/youth issues. Carrie holds a degree in Legal Research from Utrecht University, specialized in international children’s rights and legal anthropology. In 2015, Carrie published the book: “I write with the right”, on indigenous migrant children from Panama on Costa Rican coffee plantations. Carrie is a member of the Amsterdam Hub of Global Shapers at the World Economic Forum and a Senior Trainer for the United World Colleges in the Netherlands.

International Advisory Board

The international advisory board provides advice to the foundation to help shape its strategy, form partnerships and define programmes.

jenne de beerJenne de Beer

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 BensonCarol Benson

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 HurwitzDeena Hurwitz

Deena Hurwitz is director of the Atrocity Prevention Legal Training Project, at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She was a professor of law teaching human rights clinics for over 15 years, at the University of Virginia School of Law, Yale Law School, American University/Washington College of Law, and Duke Law School, all in the USA. She directed students in multiple projects concerning the rights of indigenous peoples to education and other social and economic rights.

Emmanuelle Emmanuelle LePichon-Vorstman

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 M SpreenCarol Anne M. Spreen

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 SeveriensSabine Severiens

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.