The newest addition to the Partners for Water (PfW)-team is Luciel Bakker. As part of her ‘Rijkstraineeship’ (government traineeship) she joins the programme from March until September. She wants to learn as much as possible and of course we want to learn about her too. So, we sat down with her for a chat. Nice to meet you, Luciel!
‘My journey as Rijkstrainee started last September when I joined the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. There I coordinated the pre-financing of urgent programmes on topics such as water, nitrogen and nature. To learn more about the implementation side of such programmes, I joined the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and their Partners for Water (PfW) programme. A place where I feel at home because ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by climate change, nature and biodiversity.’
‘I have a bachelor’s degree in political sciences, but that didn’t feel substantial enough. I became aware that I wanted to gain more background knowledge on what interests me. That’s why I decided to study Governance of Sustainability for my masters. With this, you get a good combination of the scientific perspective on climate change as well as how to best address it. I specialised in nitrogen, a topic which connects everything together: economics, nature, farmers and all of the social implications.’
‘I’ve always been fascinated by Dutch agriculture and I even did an internship with Rabobank, the “farmers bank”. Given how closely linked and intertwined the topics of water and the agricultural are, joining the PfW programme felt like a logical next step. What I’ve done up until now has always been nationally focused. So, I look forward to getting insights into how our national developments relate to the international political field and what factors to take into consideration when working internationally. How, for instance, to take into account cultural differences.’
‘In my first weeks at PfW I reviewed several subsidiary request applications, which I felt were well written and thought out. That means I can learn a lot from them which is great. It’s also fun to read about the innovative solutions the applicants have proposed. I’m honoured to be able to comment on them and the team’s guidance has been great. In the coming time, I hope to contribute to the programme with what I’ve learned in the first part of my traineeship: analysing the cohesion and interaction between the different actors operating in the field.’
‘I’m originally from Zaandam, but I now live in Amsterdam. Taking the train to The Hague can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance, but it’s a sacrifice I happily make. My future plans? Part of my traineeship is being sent to another ministry, province embassy or consulate for half a year. A consulate would be my preference. I would love to be stationed abroad and work on a project related to climate change. I’ve always had a deep love and interest for the Middle East, so ultimately my dream is to do valuable work there.’