My name is Ruud Lambregts, and I recently became the new chairman of the Board of the Vivir Juntos Foundation. I joined the board a few months ago having had the opportunity to work for a while with ‘pioneers’ Jeroen and Niko who have now stood down from the Board after a long tenure.
We are very grateful to both of them for their work for Vivir Juntos and Ruach, which they have done with great effort and dedication. Willy, Henk and I, as the new Board, will probably regularly ask our predecessors for views and advice.
I myself know Nicaragua and Juigalpa well. Like Henk Verheul, for many years I was a member of the board of the Stedenband (twinned cities) The Hague and Leiden with this city in Nicaragua. I also lived and worked in Nicaragua when I was the regional representative for Central America for Oxfam Novib (1988-1990). I worked for Oxfam Novib from 1976 to 2011, almost always as co-responsible person for the programs in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. As part of that position, I visited Nicaragua several times. During one of these visits I also got to know Astrid and her beautiful project.
I am 73 years old, so I retired quite a while ago. I spend a lot of time volunteering, for example for Fairtrade and Wereldwinkels (‘world shops’) and also in the world of Early Music. I have been married to Marianne for almost 50 years. We live in Gouda, where we also enjoy gardening on our allotment together.