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There is no better feeling than sharing knowledge

Food Security

For him, a visit to Ethiopia feels like a homecoming. It is the country where he and his family settled 28 years ago. “I see this as a unique opportunity to return, and to share the knowledge I now have; there is no better feeling. 

During his period of study in Animal Sciences & Education at Wageningen University, Jan Gundelach completed foreign internships in Switzerland, Canada and Africa. “I learned a great deal during my internships. Certainly my time in Africa taught me to think very differently. Going back to basics leads to huge steps forward in project development.” 

Trainen on location

On behalf of PUM (Project Uitzending Managers) and the Aeres Group, Gundelach regularly travels to projects around the world, where knowledge can be shared. In the form of short, repeated advice missions, financed by the government, senior experts (50+) can share their knowledge face to face on a voluntary basis, for example in developing countries. “I am very much in favour of training on location. So instead of bringing Ethiopians here, we offer advice in their own business or school.” 

Out of your comfort zone

Gundelach is inspired by development work, travel and students. “In the spring I travelled across the Indonesian island of Java as part of my work (Aeres MBO Barneveld) and visited three agricultural schools. Over the past year, lecturers at these schools have undergone training via e-learning in the form of modules on poultry health, accommodation and nutrition.” 

The ten years he spent in Eastern Africa with his family were his formative years. “I always encourage my students to complete an internship abroad. Foreign internships are crucial for looking outside your comfort zone and encouraging the brain to develop new insights.” 


Source: Ede TOTAAL, september 2019

Photo: Brooke Cagle (Unsplash)