Nick’s parents made the choice when he was young to send him to a school that focuses more on experience based education, and this is perhaps one of the ignition to his experience based professional career. Nick goes out there and does things. When he did his postgraduate in international research journalism, as well as a postgraduate in conflict and development, he felt the need to be more in the field and to see with his own eyes what he was studying. This led him to his first trip to Nepal where he worked on his dissertation and gained real hands-on experience at the same time.
Nick currently works as a communications officer at ANPED- the Northern Alliance for Sustainability, “an international not-for-profit organization with a mission to empower Northern civil society through capacity development, exchanges and sharing of knowledge.”
Nick made a conscious decision to work for ANPED 3 days a week, in order to have more time for his other projects and of course life and his family. When he is not busy with ANPED, he writes, or he works for Chautaara, a small non-profit organisation that he started with his wife and a good friend. Chautaara organises and supports social, cultural and educational activities for a better understanding of the situation in Asian countries and regions, as well as mutual cultural exchanges. The projects of Chautaara include supporting existing micro-credit schemes, which have already begun to show results. Another project focused on education and training for delivery childcare in the first weeks. To Nick and the organisation, working with locals and in the context of the local environment is key.
“In the NGO and development aid sector, there are so many instances where one tries to help and to do something good, but one actually ends up doing more harm, and we want to try our best to avoid that”
Nick’s third passion/profession is writing. He has written a book, news articles and blog articles. On one hand, he focuses on his experiences of trekking. On the other hand, Nick conducts investigative journalism on topics he finds relevant and important. As an example, Nick went to India and uncovered a scam in implementation of a carbon credit system where Belgium was buying carbon credits from a company that was not really reducing carbon emissions. Nick's book, 'Nieuwe wegen in de Himalaya' deals with how globalisation is changing lifes in the most remote and unexpected corners of our planet and in the most diverse ways. Ten chapters, ten ways, ten stories all linked with a 500km honeymoon trek in remote West-Nepal.