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Staff and volunteers in Amsterdam

Below is an introduction of some volunteers from the Maitreya Institute Amsterdam. This way you can recognize them when you meet them there. They are happy to answer your questions and are open to your suggestions. There are also a number of people who perform many essential tasks for the center, but are not listed here; there are too many to mention!


Director - Silvie Walraven

Info follows


SPC (Spiritual Program Coordinator) - Lisette Reek

Info follows


SPC Team - Paula de Wijs

Although I was born in New York City, I lived in the tumultuous 1960's in San Francisco. In 1970, I came to the Netherlands, where I met my husband Matti. Together we traveled overland to Nepal, where I was introduced to Buddhism through Lama Thubten Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Their wisdom, compassion, honesty, and humor immediately captivated me; they became my teachers and inspiration and have remained so.

I have worked extensively for the cause of Tibet and the Tibetans, in the fields of politics, Tibetan medicine, and, of course, Buddhism. I have had the privilege of assisting with the first visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the US and his visits to the Netherlands. I am one of the founders of the Maitreya Institute and served as director of the center in Amsterdam for many years. I have been living on a houseboat on the Amstel with my husband, dog, and cat for many years, still with great joy.


Volunteer Coordinator - Janneke Langeveld

I grew up in the south of the country, but have been living in Amsterdam since 1993. After studying Religious and Medical Anthropology at the VU, I went on to train as a midwife. I worked as a midwife for many years and now work as a location manager at the Bevalcentrum West in Amsterdam. In May 2017, I attended the Introduction to Buddhism course in Kopan, where I was moved, inspired, and motivated by the Dharma. Upon my return to Amsterdam, I started taking classes with Ven. Gendun. I was touched by the warm welcome in Amsterdam and Loenen. I remember the first weekend class I took with Geshe Sonam Gyaltsen very well. I didn't understand much, but it was wonderful to listen and meet fellow students! I then started attending classes in Amsterdam. I have been the volunteer coordinator for some time, with the help of many! What I appreciate about our center is that everyone contributes, sometimes with a pebble, sometimes with a huge boulder. Together we do it! And that fills me with great joy.


Reception - Nanna de Waele

After working as a physio-manual therapist for 25 years, I have been working as a physiotherapy teacher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences since 2019. In 2005, I visited the Maitreya Institute for the first time, where I took the Discovering Buddhism course with Ven. Kaye Miner in Amsterdam and participated in the Summer Lamrim with Geshe Sonam Gyaltsen, then in Emst. Since then, I have attended classes and meditations with various teachers both inside and outside the Maitreya Institute. Since Ven. Losang Gendun came in 2017, I have been following the Basic Program and weekend classes, which I find very inspiring. My connection with the study group and the center has grown, making me feel more and more involved with the center. For the past few years, I have been contributing as a volunteer. First as a member of the PR team, now as the scheduler for reception services.


Administration / email - Constantijn Koopman

Info follows.