Mieke Janssen-Matthes passes away

Dear President, dear Board Members,

Maybe you already know, but May 7th Mieke Janssen-Matthes passed away.

Mieke was one of the creators and founders of SIETAR Europa and the first President of SIETAR Europa. Mieke was the tireless lead administrator of SIETAR Europa during its first formative years in Haarlem, NL. At the same time, she was Executive Vice President of SIETAR International and for a long time member of the Governing Council of SIETAR International.

A true pillar of the organisation. 

She was an inspiration for many Sietarians and other people working in the intercultural field. She was an inspiring and respected lecturer and coach for many children living in Otherland’. Author of the ‘Anderland’ books for children and adults in Dutch, and the English editions: ‘Off to Otherland: A read-and-do book for children going to live abroad’, 1998, 2002, 2007 and ‘Unlocking the secret of Otherland: A story and activity book for children living abroad’. Amsterdam 2006.

Mieke was honorary member of SIETAR Europa and honorary member of SIETAR Nl. She received the SIETAR International Senior Interculturalist Award and she was also the well deserved recipient of the SIETAR Europa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

SIETAR Europa is indebted to Mieke’s unfaltering wisdom, energy and dedication.

In lieu of condolences, Mieke’s family is interested in receiving personal memories or wishes. In order not to publish the family address, contact either Susan Vonsild (smv@interlink.dk) or Francien Wieringa (f.i.wieringa@gmail.com) and they will give you the correct address.

Warm regards to all of you,
Monica Armour
Leslie Guggiari
Susan Vonsild
Francien Wieringa

25 June: SIETAR Europa 2020 General Assembly Meeting


SIETAR Europa –  General Assembly Meeting
June 25th, 2020 at 19:00 CET

As SIETAR members we are constantly influencing and changing the organisation to which we represent and belong. There are a lot of ways we do that: organising events, contributing to discussions, sharing experiences, and supporting initiatives.

Once a year members have an opportunity to influence the strategic decision-making by participating in the SIETAR General Assembly (GA).

The GA is, as you know, the highest governing authority of SIETAR. At the GA, we review our previous year achievements and vote for the next year’s vision and strategy.

Your voice matters. Please, participate and be heard.
The GA 2020 will take place virtually on June 25th at 19.00 CET

Please find the following documents:

The meeting will be held on Zoom that allows everyone to be heard:  to comment, ask questions, present suggestions and vote for changes we want to see.

Please register in advance to attend the General Assembly by contacting the office at office@sietareu.org.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Where: We will meet on Zoom:
When: Jun 25, 2020 19:00 Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna

For those who would like to refresh their knowledge about the GA purpose and the role – please, go to Article 7 of the SIETAR Europa Statutes and article 9 of the Guidelines. Here

Mark it in your calendar.
Decide to participate. Choose to influence.

Kind regards,
Tamara Thorpe

SIETAR Europa Board Message: COVID-19

Dear SIETAR Europa Members and Friends,

SIETAR Europa has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact in Europe. Weunderstand that each of your regions has been uniquely impacted and are at different stages in their response. The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors is in close contact with each national SIETAR, as well as the direct members, and continues to monitor the progress of this pandemic and its impact on our members and organization.

As interculturalists, many of us have learned to accept ambiguity and uncertainty, yet we understand that it creates fear and stress for many others. We hope this is opportunity for communities to come together and innovate, as we have seen with neighbors in Italy singing and making music together, among many other great examples of generosity and caring across the world. Unfortunately, we are also aware that the situation has stoked fear against those who are different to us. There has been scape-goating and blame-hunting of cultural groups by individuals and unfortunately government leaders. SIETAR-Europa calls upon the leaders in Europe and beyond, from majors to presidents, from union-leaders to CEOs, from athletes to artists, to protect the vulnerable, to unite instead of fracture, to servetheir communities instead of themselves.

SIETAR subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and works towards the elimination of every kind of discrimination based on race, skin-colour, gender, sexual orientation, family and marital status, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Therefore, SIETAR Europa is calling on each of its members to join us in openly rejecting racism, operating from equity, and maintaining a voice of inclusion within our networks, communities, and organizations.

During times of crisis and uncertainty, our values and skill set as intercultural practitioners are more relevant than ever. We believe that times like this call for solidarity and compassion, and it is important for communities to come together across our differences to find solutions and weather the storm.

SIETAR Europa will continue to host our monthly virtual events, and we are encouraging national SIETARs to also host their events online. Let’s continue to build community, learn from one another, and take action towards our values of openness, tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

In solidarity,
The SIETAR Europa Board of Directors

Claude Bourgeois passes away

Dear SIETAR Europa Members,

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the passing of a valued colleague and friend at SIETAR EUROPA, Claude Bourgeois, on September 12th 2019.

Claude was on the SIETAR EUROPA board, representing SIETAR France at the same time in 2014. Claude served as President of SIETAR EUROPA from April until October 2015.

Claude Bourgeois worked as International Relations Manager in a Grande Ecole in Lyon for 20 years. She was then posted in Japan, Egypt and Morocco for 7 years for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Back in France, she worked as director of small size companies in Paris, Strasbourg, and Vichy.

Claude has greatly contributed to the intercultural field and will be deeply missed.

We extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends.

With kind regards,
The SIETAR EUROPA Executive Committee