Age: 30
Rotterdam, Netherlands.
First ICLS seminar: February 2005, Rotterdam

Nadya L. Van Putten

I was born and raised in Aruba, an island in the Dutch Caribbean, and moved to the Netherlands in 2001. During my first years in the Netherlands I felt the need to do something for the community I lived in. The times were very rough politically speaking: the far right politicians and rhetoric started to gain support and migrants and the multicultural society was severely under pressure. I started volunteering with the local Green Party and soon made it to the Youth, Education and Culture commission. It was at this time that I heard about the ICLS seminar and of other likeminded youths wanting to make a difference.

Before ICLS I was not aware of how many likeminded youths there were out there. I often felt alone, odd at best giving up my free time for politics or community matters. Now I have a network of people who I can sound off ideas to and consider to be really good friends.

I am currently a board member of the Dutch Caribbean Consultation Organisation. I have also been a proud ambassador of the Inspired Project, speaking to youth organizations, women’s organizations, and schools on topics ranging from politics, women’s issues and my own personal life, all with the goal of inspiring others to follow their dreams. I also Chaired the ‘Unity is Strength Foundation’ where I have worked with Reverend Jesse Jackson Jr.’s ‘Rainbow Push Coalition’ on areas involving anti-discrimination and human rights.

 “I remember finally finding a space where I could interact with others who were interested in the same things and where we could discuss issues and learn about each other in a constructive way.
A Participant”