A team of Nature Mediators and Experts

We believe in the power of nature to raise happy kids

The Nature Mediators are responsible for passing on the virus of love for nature to children, families and schools, on a weekly basis, rain or shine, in Beatripark. They are assigned an age-group over the long-term. They are trained, and have experience in positive education and education through nature. They will be inspiring nature guides for Naya Nature students, no matter if is about assisting a playgroup of toddlers who discover nature for the first time or exploring the woods with older kids that already behave like real scouts in Amsterdam. Securing, arousing curiosity, catching nature’s wonder, assisting, challenging: they master the way to create conditions of time and space for a meaningful nature experience. At the end of the year, they will appreciate each child’s progress in connecting to his/her own nature.

Exciting mission, isn’t it?

All sessions are led in English. Nature Mediators speak at least a second language: French, Dutch, or Spanish. Once a month, experts will lead the session, as scheduled in the enrichment programme. 

Photo Credit : Yann-Pablo Terreyre

Enthusiasm is a resource that increases as you use it

André Stern

Meet our Nature Mediators

Claire Bano Devautour

Nature Mediator & Education Counsellor

Master in Counselling and Mediation in Education – Certificate in early childhood education – 15 Years of Experience working with children.

It makes me hopeful and incredibly happy to see children enjoy being in nature.

From: France. Speaks: French, English, Dutch, Spanish and Tamil.

Taking part in the development of Naya Nature makes me immensely happy. It gives me the opportunity to work towards the accomplishment of two of my most important life-objectives: 1. Develop, use and spread the methods of positive education. 2. Create awareness and engagement for nature and its preservation. I have always felt I belong on the field, along with children and their families. My background is that of a teacher, an educator and an education counsellor. I worked for the Eco-schools programme in France and contributed to developing an eco-center in India. I am addicted to fresh air and green spaces. Naya Nature makes me hopeful for the future.

Judith Duijn

Coach at Kidstime Coaching and baby sign teacher at Gebarenstem. 

Meaningful communication brings us closer to our own nature and helps us to connect better with the beautiful nature that we are living in.

From: the Netherlands. Speaks: Dutch, English and French.

As leader of a community center in the suburbs of Amsterdam I develloped my skills in working with families. My interest in the interaction between parents and children started growing, and when I became the stepmum of my husband’s two children and later became a mother myself, I supplemented my practical experience with a professional training as kid’s coach.

As a coach I focus on meaningful and positive communication between parents and children. One of the tools in my work is using Signs in the interaction. Signing helps children to understand and to express themselves. It is also an effective way to create a succesful connection between parents and children.

With my work at Naya Nature I get to combine all the above with yet another big interest: being in Nature. I grew up playing outside all the time and loving it.

I want to pass on this happy part of my upbringing to my children.

Nature provides an everlasting inspiring playground to discover and connect with.

It is my dream that all children get the chance to connect with nature and their own true nature. I believe that it is the key to make our world a better place.

Méjane Bertrand

Fun Designer at Mej & Design

Never stop to play! We are designed to find fulfillment and creative growth through play. Nature is a magical and powerful place to do it!

From: France.     Speaks: English, Dutch and French.

I am Méj. I was born in Lyon in France. I studied in China and moved to the Netherlands a few years ago. I design experiences, bringing storytelling and games alive within a magical atmosphere. My goal is to stimulate children’s imagination, creativity, joy and autonomy in nature.

Yamit Gutman

Nature guide & Environmentalist

Master in Environment and Resource Management

I believe that Nature is the best playground for children of all ages!

From: Israel.    Speaks: English, Dutch, Hebrew and Spanish.

I spent my childhood playing in nature and exploring it. From the age of 10 till 17 I was a member of a nature club and I have magical memories of long trips in wild sceneries, playing barefoot and being carefree. Later I became a guide in that same nature club and enjoyed seeing children explore and learn about their natural environment. I always marvel at the simple beauty of the changing seasons, a working ant or a majestic tree. These days, as we are surrounded by technology, it is more important than ever that children play in nature and learn to love it so they can become happy and balanced. I believe that children who love nature become adults who care and protect it for generations to come. 

Roxana Sucy

Nature Trainer

We are nature and we can only benefit from connecting with it.

From: Romania. Speaks: Romanian, English and Spanish.

I grew up in the Transilvanian mountains and I have studied at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. From the age of 15 years old, I have been volunteering for Tasuleasa Social. ‘TaSu’ makes children aware of and involve in community issues. I was working with children in nature and I helped them realize that everything we take from the nature has to be given back. Working with children from different backgrounds, I learned how important it was for them to understand that, in nature, you can find everything you need and most importantly, that they need to respect the environment they live in. The satisfaction I feel when I see them happy in nature, helping them restore it and watching a beautiful sunset at the end of the day together, is a great reward for me. I have been inspired by nature to create my values in life and want to share everything I have learned.

Suzanne Oommen

Urban agriculturalist, vermiculturist, garden teacher and member of urban farming collective at Cityplot.org, Amsterdam.

Children enjoy growing food and learning about plants, insects and soil so we should give them the opportunity to do that!

From Kerala. Speaks English, Malayalam, Tamil, Dutch, German, Hindi

Born in India, I grew up surrounded by the intensive cultivation practised in Kerala kitchen gardens and soaked up the interdependencies inherent in holistic, organic agriculture. In Toronto, I rediscovered my calling by growing vegetables in the backyard, learning about composting, and working in the farmers’ markets. I trained with Patrick Whitefield in permaculture and now experiment with self-sufficiency in my allotment garden.

Saskia Watts

Co-founder & Mover at Memotion. Dance Scientist. Trainee Dance Therapist.

I want children to experience how nature can inspire their personal movement.

From: United Kingdom/Netherlands. Speaks: English, Dutch.

I have always danced. I believe that movement is a form of expression and can provide a new way to communicate with others. At the same time, becoming aware of how we move, what we like, or what influences us, teaches us more about ourselves and others. Moving in nature, and being inspired by what is around us, not only sparks creativity, but is also allows us to become more aware of the environment around us, and our relationship with it.

Athina Liakopoulou

Co-founder & Mover at Memotion. Child Psychologist.

I want children to dance with all the possibilities that are available around them.

From Greece. Speaks Greek, English.

I grew up in Greece, but I’ve called the Netherlands my home for eight years. In Amsterdam, I work with children as a child psychologist and I always make sure I have time to dance. My mission is to share with the world what dance can bring about: how it can change your perspective, how you view others and yourself and how you approach life in general. I believe that movement is a powerful language that is much stronger than words. With children, movement is a fun and instant experience that always makes them smile. I believe it opens so many possibilities for them and I always love it when we can share a dance.

Brigitta Huigsloot

Nature Pedagogue at Rozen Rood Natuur Activiteiten with a bachelor of Education and Nature Mediator with a Spirits of Nature certificate

By using all of their senses in nature, children can become more aware of their inner strength.

From: The Netherlands. Speaks: English, Dutch.

I have more than 25 years of experience working with young people and am a specialist in working with highly sensitive children. I love to spend time with children in nature and increase their awareness of the influence of nature through mindfulness. Experiences in nature help children to learn to feeling grounded and get to know each other better, enabling them to make better choices at school, in their families and in society. As a nature educator, I guide children in their relationship with nature and empower them to face life’s challenges.

Laurence Haffmans

Certified mindfulness instructor for children: E. Snel’s methodology ‘Sitting Still Like a Frog – Mindfulness Matters!’.  Sophrologist-Relaxologist at Sophrosan.

I believe we can learn from watching the frog sitting still and breathing in nature.

From:  France. Speaks: French, Dutch and English.

Many children nowadays struggle to focus. They do not sleep well and worry. They also find it difficult to relax, or to simply switch off. They spend a lot of time online. They are over-stimulated. Learning to be in the now, without thinking,  experiencing with their five senses, is the key to happiness. What better place than nature to do so? It’s a pleasure for me to contribute to Naya Nature’s programme with mindfulness.

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