Laguna Collective

Young Professionals

Below you will find members of Laguna Collective who are in the starting phase of their carreers and feel committed to our target groups. We aim to support our young members in taking relevant developmental steps.

Lotte Dijkstra

Lotte Dijkstra is a medical doctor. She graduated from the University of Amsterdam in 2019 after which she worked in psychiatric emergency services. She is currently taking an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. During her studies, Lotte has developed an interest in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); first as a sexuality educator in primary schools and later as the Netherlands first youth ambassador for SRHR. In this position she worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, many national and international NGO’s, and with several UN agencies. Currently she serves as a supervisory board member at Rutgers, centre for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

After finishing her MSc Lotte aims to train as a psychiatrist and use her epidemiological skills in researching the social determinants of mental health.

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Juul Leijssen

Juul Leijssen graduated in 2020 as a medical doctor at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. Besides a great interest in public (mental) health, it is clear to her that as a doctor she wants to work with marginalized groups. During medical school, Juul gained clinical experience in Surinam, Rwanda, Sudan and Senegal and worked in January 2020 on Lesvos as a coordinator at a medical clinic for refugees. During her study, she also conducted research into causes of depressive symptoms among various ethnic groups in Amsterdam.

Juul is currently working at Doctors of the World in Amsterdam as a volunteer, where she provides psychosocial support to undocumented refugees. She also works at the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD) as a medical doctor for infectious disease control.

Karen Wekema

Karen Wekema is a driven young woman whose foremost interest lies with human beings and their psyches. Especially the intersection between wellbeing, conflict and crisis is the object of her focus. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights (UU), she now works as a senior at Slachtofferhulp Nederland. Karen researched the implementation of the peace accord in Colombia and the role of trust in peace building processes in the recent past. She supported several projects with (un)documented refugees and people who suddenly became homeless.

Besides her mother tongue Dutch, Karen speaks English and Spanish and is currently learning Portuguese. She is developing her mindfulness skills now and plans to work as a mindfulness teacher in the near future.

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Therese Wong

Therese Wong is a driven, broadly interested psychologist. She has a great affinity with the human psyche in relation to culture, conflict and collective trauma. Next to this, she has a specific interest in the development of (culture-sensitive) psychological and psychosocial interventions for victims of war and human rights violations.  

Therese holds a BSc degree in Health Sciences with a specialization in Mental Health (Maastricht University). During this bachelor she investigated the relationship between terrorism and psychology in her thesis ‘The combat against terrorism: implementing the terrorist’s psyche’. In her final year, she was selected for a national honors program (NAHSS) that focusses on strengthening the bond between the Netherlands and China. Through NAHSS she has been in China for longer periods of time during which she refined her Chinese and deepened her knowledge of Chinese politics. 

In 2020 Therese has completed her MSc in Clinical Psychology (UvA). As part of this master she has done her clinical internship at ARQ Centrum’45 in the expertise team Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Psychotrauma. She has also written her master thesis on 7ROSES/METS, a recovery-oriented method for traumatized populations. The NIP has awarded this thesis with the Master Thesis Price for the best master thesis in the field of Psychotrauma. Therese intends to pursue a second master’s degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights.

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