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Delft Mama of the week: Nina

Delft Mama of the week, Nina, is a mother of two boys. Living close to Delft, she considers herself as part of the Delft community. A lot of fellow moms recognize her name through various efforts she has done to help those in need, especially the refugees all across Europe.

“I like that my name is connected to the refugees. I’d like to do more than I do. I’d like to give more back to Delft MaMa in particular, because for me Delft MaMa community was really a way out. Before I moved to Holland, I was pregnant with my second child and, it was clear to me that first I have to do my best to fit into the local community. I found Delft MaMa, I contacted them and I got right away a response. I was very enthusiastic that there was someone on the other side giving me all the information I needed at that time, to make first firm steps in Holland.”

Her children have grown out of the stay-at-home-mom phase and since last year Nina has picked up her academic career and has been strongly involved in working with refugees at camps, volunteering in Delft and giving out presentations:

“Every time I give a presentation about my work with refugees, people ask me “have you ever been harassed, have you ever been insulted by refugees?” No never. Some people think that I’m kind of an over positive volunteer I’m not. I would not say something, which is not true. I was working at various refugee camps in different European countries. Sure the refugees look at you, but harassing or insulting me, no never. Once one of them said, look this is Europe, because this is what they saw in my blonde hair and blue eyes. They asked me if they can make a photo of me holding their child, they were happy, I was for them presenting I was Europe that they finally reached. That is the closest thing that got to me in the sense of “pushing in to me”. I don’t see what people mean, refugees are people like me and you, they have their dreams and desires”

Looking from outside, there seems to be a sort of effortless flow in everything Nina does. She doesn’t have a bucket list, but she likes to think about going out of her comfort zone. “What I want to do this year, is to run a marathon. I don’t know if I succeed, but it’s something I want to do in my life. I want to see what happens with my body when it hits the wall at around 30 km. Physiologically looking it is very special thing what happens with your body. As a physiologist I want to explore it by myself. I also want to climb the north face of Slovenian highest mountain, which is about 2800 meters. I like to go out of the comfort zone, I like to explore. We live in such a comfortable society and our bodies can do so much more for what we are using them in our daily life. Furthermore, as a mother I want to be able to show my kids that you can be active and do a lot of things, even things that aren’t so conventional. If you are always doing the same things, life is not so exciting anymore. It’s very important to put yourself out of the comfort zone.”

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Tarja Van Veldhoven

Finnish-Delftian mom of three, married to a Dutch man with a decade long blogging history.

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