In many places around the world, Janneke has accompanied communities in struggles to protect their land and water, led advocacy campaigns and worked with farmers and other practitioners in documenting their own experiences. Janneke has undertaken policy analyses and programme evaluations for various institutions including the FAO. Living in Ecuador in 2016-2017, she provided strategic advice for a nation-wide campaign to promote agroecology and responsible food consumption.
Janneke also facilitated a range of international strategy, knowledge exchange and skill share meetings. She works with principles of co-creation and harnessing collective wisdom. Practices in her approach to groups are inspired by a variety of sources, including Appreciative Inquiry and the Art of Hosting.
Janneke gained much experience through working with Friends of the Earth, Groundswell International, ILEIA and in her current role as policy advisor with ActionAid. She holds an MSc in International Relations at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and has spent considerable time in Africa and Latin America. Janneke speaks English, Spanish, Dutch, French and some German.
Her commitment to making change started when as a child Janneke became aware of the woes of industrial food production. She set up environmental student campaigns and joined a solidarity farming brigade to Nicaragua. Today, Janneke likes taking her own children to their vegetable plot as a way to educate them, have fun and harvest their own healthy vegetables. Nothing like putting your hands in the soil to understand the relativity of, well, everything. She also volunteers with a migrant support organisation.
Janneke likes to go by the words of Lila Watson, an Australian Indigenous woman: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us walk together.”