Autumn 2016: Mayors rise to the occasion
Dear ACCESS readers,
Thirty years ago the international community in The Hague was hard-pressed to find English-speaking counselling services for themselves or their families. A group of Americans met the call by forming ACCESS. Today, the founders would likely not be surprised to see how we’ve developed, especially since the organisation is perfectly situated for growth. We reside in a humble country, yet a nation of progress, one that recognises and embraces the tremendous good that can come from globalisation. The Netherlands is a leading state when it comes to inviting, welcoming and settling internationals into the everyday narrative.
At ACCESS we’re able to do what we do because of the knowledge, experience and commitment of our volunteers, who represent 40 different countries. At the same time, it’s the Netherlands’ organisations, companies, policies and programmes – and the Dutch way of life – that attract such talent in the first place. Cities we partner with, including The Hague, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, serve as examples to other nations for how to amplify international talent, boost professional drive, and stir intellectual and spiritual wonder.
Sharing best practices for how cities can develop is the mission of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), the first of which will be hosted by the City of The Hague this September. Participants will exchange ideas to work toward solutions for cities’ challenges, and by extension, the world’s. Writer Kelly Merks gives us examples of how Dutch cities are inspiring examples of managing urbanisation. Other talented writers greet us from our summer break with splendid stories for yet another original edition.
Last, but definitely not least, as we celebrate our 30th birthday, allow us to present our longest-serving volunteers, whose invaluable service does not go unnoticed:
Genoveva Geppart and Yolande de Bondt, 11 years
John Pellet, 12 years
A great thank you to them for their outstanding dedication!
Become a part of the ACCESS story by volunteering or partnering with us. More at www.access-nl.org.
Deborah Valentine, Executive Director
Mandie van der Meer-Danielski, Editor ACCESS Magazine