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 – 17 Years of Experience working with children
Certified First Aid provider for children

As an Education Counsellor, I see how nature offers infinite opportunities for children to grow as independent, resilient and well-adjusted individuals.

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

I am a seasoned Education Counsellor and Mediator at Naya Nature. I actively listen to children and make sure they feel at home with us in nature. I always take time to connect with children and parents, considering each child’s personnality and situation. I train our team in the field and together we look after children’s emotional and physical safety. Human and respect for the living are at the heart of everything I do.

I strongly believe our kids belong in nature. This is the best environment for them to grow in. Nature challenges them in every possible way, triggers their curiosity, their creativity, their problem-solving skills. It offers infinite opportunities to develop into independent, resilient and well-adjusted individuals. Using my mediating skills in nature is wonderful. I am not only a mediator for children, but between children and nature.

Aurélia Chevreul-Gaud

Nature Mediator & Change Maker

Certificate in Wonder-based teaching, Nature-based education – Master in Change management, Director of training and trainer

I believe that arousing wonder and providing a sincere connection with nature, a connection to life, is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to our children, and to the world.

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

When I was little, I lived in a house in the countryside. Picture it if you will: grey lizards scuttling along the walls, cool water in the river, masses of berries to pick along the country lanes, crickets singing at the top of their voices, and nights studded with stars… Then I lost my natural connection with the wild, because I did not meet, on my way, a mediator to nurture my sense of wonder… With the birth of my children, and facing unbelievable situations, I understood how essential it was for their present and future to connect them to life… and actually also for me! I decided to do a two-year-course in Nature-based education and to create a nature academy, in Amsterdam, to give children the space and time in their daily lives to connect with nature. 

Méjane Bertrand

Nature Mediator & 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.

Judith Duijn

Nature Mediator & 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.

Marine Gaillard

Nature Mediator Junior

WO Bachelor of Science of Education – Youth Worker Certificate – MBO Childcare in Early Years
Certified First Aid provider

To be in contact with nature is to have this feeling of freedom, to explore life in all its simplicity and to admire the beauty of the world. So many priceless experiences!

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

The smell of rain and wet soil, the dance of the wind on our cheeks, sometimes, the nettles that mark our skin, the sowbugs that we find funny and unsightly or the soft bed of moss under our feet.
In nature, children learn independence, patience, the effect of time and weather and the importance of being able to take care of themselves.

In the city, I quickly felt a lack of green and space. I moved to a small island in Canada, exploring isolated life, eco-villages, farms close to lakes and nature.

I love the contact with the land and the plants and… being with the children! My specialities are cultural and sports experiences that aim to develop their expressiveness and sociability.

I strongly believe in nature-connection to grow healthy and fullfilled children!

Lucas McCallum Suarez

Nature Mediator Junior

Cub and Scout, Volunteer Teacher in Guatemala

I believe nature instills the most profound experiences in ourselves, and the more we become in tune with it, the more we are in tune with the nature of our own self.

From: England. Speaks: English and Spanish.

I have had the luck of growing up in a small village near the Peak District, where I spent the majority of my childhood outside playing in the forests and hills. 
As a Cub and a Scout, I learnt essential skills that I always strive to put into practice as much as I can, from hiking for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award to camping on the Camino de Santiago. 
I have volunteered at a school for underprivileged children in Guatemala and have grown a fondness for teaching kids. That is why I believe that working for Naya Nature will combine my passions for teaching children the essentials of nature and its importance and influence on our well-being. 

Our collective of professionals

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.

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.

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.