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UEN Summer Review


The Netherlands in Top 10 of Human Capital Index

The Human Capital Index assesses how well countries are providing basic education to children under 15 years of age but also whether young adults have access to higher education and skill development opportunities in the workplace.
For people between 25 and 55 a country should provide continued learning and career opportunities. Finally the report looks at how well a country provides health and personal development opportunities to seniors over 65 years.
The Netherlands made the top 10 this year due largely to its success in educating young people and supporting them as they begin their careers.
However, NL struggles to integrate older members of the population into the labour force. A relatively high number of people just under retirement age – 55-64 years – are unemployed.
The 2015 Human Capital top 10 
1 Finland
2 Norway
3 Switzerland
4 Canada
5 Japan
6 Sweden
7 Denmark
8 Netherlands
9 New Zealand
10 Belgium
You can find more information here:

UEN News

Important Dates until September 2015
We have made plans for the next UEN events until September. Please already keep the dates free in your agenda. Some dates still need to be confirmed, so please watch out for your invitation.
  • Drinks at the Axe Bar in July (date to be confirmed)
  • Photography walk and session, 07.07. and 16.07.
  • Sustainability Talk at Weena Office, 10.09.
  • Our Annual BBQ in Vlaardingen, 24.09.

Welcome to new UEN babies


We like to congratulate Pallavi and Ashish Lall on the birth of their baby boy Anirudh Bihari Lall.  Anirudh was born on 12th of April 2015. In the name of all UEN member I wish you all the best for your son  and lots of love and happiness with your family!

If you are expecting a baby and you like to let your fellow members know when your baby is born please send me a picture and name and date and I will put it into the next newsletter.


The following UEN members or their partners have started working at Unilever in the Netherlands and we would like to welcome them all and wish them an enjoyable time in this country.
  • Carmen Harabagiu
  • Anastasia Tsakouridou
  • Hugo Marty
  • Joana Valenca-Desousa
  • Aldona Rakauskaite
  • Sebnem Onal
  • Asli Celebi
  • Shilpi Asawa
  • Anshul Asawa
  • Kathrin Rehde
  • Thomas Rehde
  • Christina Beer
  • Katarzyna Brulinska
  • Persefoni Papadimitriou
  • Angelos Antonakas
  • Andrzej Sobolczyk
  • Annika Dobelmann
  • Maelle Guillemot
  • Sarah Nutz
  • Avi Kestenbaum
  • Miguel Soeiro
  • Chu-lan Hoo
  • Marina Atanasova
  • Joao Hogan
  • Ruiqi Zhang
  • Vanessa Bacchin-Cardo
  • Anna Korzeniowska
  • Andrzej Sobolczyk*
  • Karolina Kuznicka
  • Marian Vitale
  • Federica Tritschler
  • Arjan Baars
  • Joseph Nkrumah

In this column we like to share information! Any kind of information…. so please feel free to contribute any kind of tips you can think of!


Museumkaart-FotoMany of you might already have but for those who don’t:
The Museum Card represents a personal pass to enter more than 400 museums in the Netherlands!
It is valid one year and it costs €54.95 for adults and €27,50 for youngsters up to 18 years of age plus 4,95 Euro administrative costs. The Museumkaart is a cheap way to explore Dutch museums, and every time you wish to! It is quite easy to purchase, you have only to fill in a form and the card is immediately yours, together with a leaflet explaining the cards’ advantages and the museums you can enter for free divided per province.
In The Hague you can buy it for example in the Gemeentemuseum and in Mauritshuis and in Rotterdam you can buy for example in Maritiem Museum and Booijman van Beuningen. For the entire list click here
You can also order it online. However, this is a Dutch only website and it takes 5 days to deliver.

Expat Kids Club

Kids have many pieces. We fit them together. The Expat Kids Club is a private psychology practice, founded by Kate Berger, MSc, offering psychological support and consultancy to help children work towards achieving specific goals and/or developing certain skills in an intercultural environment.
Psychological intervention services are conducted via a variety of therapeutic methodologies including play therapy, behavioral modification, (mindfulness-based-) cognitive-behavioral training, and humanistic (client-centered) approaches aimed at specific areas including:
  • Adjustment to & coping with new environment
  • Intercultural trainings
  • Overcoming social anxiety
  • Making new friends
  • “Fitting in” in new environment
  • Dealing with school anxiety/refusal
  • Addressing communication blockages within the family
  • Aiding in developmental-milestone delays (i.e., toilet-training, sleeping problems, etc.)
  • Expressing unresolved grief that is a result of relocation
  • Dealing with normative developmental or emotional challenges with a native English-speaker
Consultation services include parenting support, school choice, intercultural awareness, understanding the development of identity in changing contexts; and the impacts of the global mobility lifestyle for kids. In addition to 1:1 consultancy, Kate has an extensive, valuable network and works to connect people with appropriate services and institutions when relevant.

Expat Kids ClubThe Expat Kids Club

Kate S. Berger, MSc Child & Adolescent Psychology, Founder
Lindenlaan 75, 1185LC Amstelveen
FaceBook: The Expat Kids Club / Twitter: ExpatKidsClub

LileSADi – Textile Design Studio

I am Sarah Smutny, a German living in Rotterdam since 2006. I am a UEN member since 2014 through my partner Jerome Sonjon who is Portfolio and Innovation Manager Machine Dishwash at Unilever Rotterdam.
After my studies in Marketing at Erasmus University Rotterdam I worked for five years in communication for an international internet business. I had more and more the feeling that I wanted to indulge myself in design and work for myself.
Lilesadi_sAfter having graduated from her textile design studies inFlorence, Italy and working for and gaining experience at different design studios my twin sister Dinah joined me in Rotterdam. This is where things fell into place and we founded our own studio LileSADi.
Creating original textiles, fresh wallpapers and other graphic interior products we aim to bring minimalism and poesy in the homes of people brightening up their life.
Have a look at what we do:
In December 2012, our son Luca was born. Inspired by Luca, our studio launched the kids label LileSADi petite in 2015.
LileSADi petite stands for kids’ clothes and home accessories for little urban adventurers. Cool and playful kids’ wear that is timeless and easy to combine. Most of our textiles are printed by ourselves on organic cotton.
Since March 2015 we organise textile workshops for everyone in our studio. It is very inspiring to see people from all sorts of backgrounds experimenting and exploring their creativity. It is so special that at the end of the day everyone creates a completely unexpected design but also very different from each other – all using the same methods but just adapting them to their own ideas. Learn how to make your own stamps and stencils with different materials and tools.
After experimenting on paper and fabric, you will print your own design on a tote bag, cushion or tea towel that you will take home with you!
Custom workshops for groups:
If you are a group of 6-8 people and you would like to organise a workshop at a special date, please contact us at to arrange a date.
News: In April 2015 we presented our wall cabinet ‘Daily Gems’ at Salone Satellite in Milan. It was a very exciting experience for us and led to many interesting opportunities.
Sarah (and Dinah)
Lakes for a good swim
If you don’t fancy the drive to the beach on a nice day but you would like to go for a swim then you can also try out one of the lakes or rather “ponds” in the vicinity. I have been to most of them and think they are equally nice. The closest for me is in Bleiswijk (no 3), so I have spend many a sunny day there
1. Zevenhuizer Plas

This is a big lake just north of Rotterdam. It has recently been extended and there are two beaches. One is near the recreation area Rottemeren and the other is in Nessellande.

  • The one near the Rottemeren offers a Nudist beach too. It is separated from the normal beach. There is a lined off swimming area with a depth of 1,5 m and outside of that area it quickly becomes deeper. There is lots of natural shade around because of trees and bushes. Address is: Strandweg, 2761 DM Zevenhuizen. Here you find the restaurant “De Strandgaper”
  • The other beach is on the Nesselande side and it right in front of the boulevard. The boulevard offers shops and cafes/restaurants and snack bars. There is no natural shade. The area is quite new and there are only few trees. But there is a huge playground for children and also a “skate course” for skaters and skateboarders.  Address is: Siciliëboulevard in 3059 Rotterdam
2.Kralingse Plas (LINK)

Many of you might know the Kralingse Plas already. But did you know that there is a beach there too? It is situated on the Western side of the lake.

You can park your car on the parking of Lange Pad and walk from there or of course cycle there directly.  There is a kiosk, play grounds and there are toilets too.

There is also a small nudist beach; this lies at the farend of the beach and is separated.
Address: Lande Pad, 3062 Rotterdam

6.Vlietland (close to Leiden)

I have only been here once and that is quite a long time ago. But I have found a website that is telling you everything you need to know about this recreational area.

3.Rottemeren – Dagcamping in Bleiswijk

Beach and Day Camping at the Rottemeren.

You can find the beach of the Rottemeren at the Bleiswijkse Zoom. If you come by car you can park on parking Kooilaan or Grote Molen. From there it is only a couple of meters to walk.

As it is a dagcamping (day camping) you can alsodrive your car onto the grass. Many Dutch people do that and they bring their chairs, tables etc and camp out there for the day (next to their cars) Many also try out their tents and caravans J If you would like to do as the Dutch do, than you need to arrive via Kooilaan. The entrance is the last on your right before the parking.

Facilities: beach, grass field and toilets. Restaurant Meerenbos is just a couple of minutes away and there is also ‘t Zeeltje in walking distance.

Address: Kooilaan, 2665 KR Bleiswijk

 4. Dobbeplas

This lake is in Nootdorp just on the border with Pijnacker. The nature and recreation area Dobbeplas is a great starting point for a day of biking, hiking, skating or just enjoying a day at the beach. In the vicinity is also an in-line skating track with a 300-metre circuit laid out on the parking lot near the mill. You have Restaurant Buytenhout in the vicinity.

Address: Oudeweg 75, Nootdorp

5.Delftse Hout – Grote Plas

This recreational lake next has a nice beach, you can swim, fish, row and even surf here. In the vicinity you find a deer park, a petting zoo and a water playground. It is very close to the center of Delft (15min walk). There is a camping situated right at the lake.

Address:  Korftlaan, 2616 LJ Delft – Holland

7.Reeuwijkse Hout
(I have not tried this one out)

On the north side of Reeuwijk (near Gouda) you can find Reeuwijkse Hout. A nature area with woods, meadows and a lake. There are many possibilities for water sports as surfing and swimming. The swimming area is lined off and very suitable for small children.

Address: Reeuwijkse Houtwal, 2811 NW Reeuwijk

There is a restaurant right at the lake holding the same name.

There is one fact that you need to know about these lakes, if the weather is really good and it is hot for a couple of weeks then the water quality is getting worse.  In that case there might be “Blauwalgen” (Cyanobacteria – blue-green algae) in the water. So just to make sure you don’t make the trip to the lake for nothing you can check thewater quality beforehand on

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-18 um 21.42.56

Theme Parks in the Netherlands
As the summer is just next door and for some of you the holidays are about to begin, you might need some ideas to spent the days with your children. I think every child loves the excitement of theme parks, so I thought it would be useful to give you an insight into the ones within an hour’s drive of Den Haag/Amsterdam/Rotterdam.
Also please check out the website: A great website for planning a day out. They often have discount vouchers you can print out too!

 1. De Efteling


Europalaan 1, Kaatsheuvel

As this is definitely the most famous amusement park in the Netherlands I have to start with it. It is a fairy tale theme park and boasts to be one of the largest leisure parks in Europe. The area is set in a beautiful wood; the enchanted forest being full of familiar faces such as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. There are rides in the amusement park for little ones as well as the usual roller coasters and water rides etc. for the brave amongst us! It therefore makes an ideal day out for the family. Each year, new attractions are added, so it is always worth visiting again.

It is open the whole year round and tickets are available from 34 Euro pp (children are free up to 3 years). You can buy online.

2. Drievliet

It is located between Voorburg and Rijswijk at Jan Thijssenweg 16, Rijswijk

It is open between April and September daily between 10:00 and 18:00. In September and October, it is only open weekends, although they tend to be relatively quiet, so well worth a visit.Drievliet is priced at €21,00 for children and adults. Children up to the height of 1 meter are free. An annual pass is available at €49,50 (incl. parking)

The park is suitable for 2-12 years old, but also offers the odd ride that will still excite the parents! It includes a log flume, a giant slide, dodgems, a monorail, a pirate ship, children’s farm and toddler animal roundabout, carousel, two roller coasters, 2 playgrounds and more.

3. Koningin Juliana Toren

This is another family based theme park at Amersfoortweg 35, 7313 AC Apeldoorn.

Open 13th April – 21st of September  from 10:30-17:00, after 21st September it is open at the three following weekends from Friday to Sunday 10:30-17:00.

Entrance is €21,95 for 2 years and over. € 19,95 when you order online.

An annual pass is available for 66 Euro and a family pass for 230,00 (220,00 online)

A good theme park for 2-12 years with over 40 attractions including big wheels, trampolines, dinosaurland and a water park. There is a car park (7,50)

4. Duinrell

Duinrell 1, 2242 JP Wassenaar
 The park is open April-October 10:00- 17:00 (in the summer holidays until 18.00 (Tikibad is open till 22:00). Admission starts at €22.00 for 3 years and older. Free for children up to 3 years. You can buy a combination ticket for the park and Tikibad. This is a swimming pool complex containing massive water slides, as well as waves and a whirlpool. If you are not up to that much excitement, then there is the Lazy River ride with underwater music. A small pool with slides is available for the 0-5 age range. There is also the Tiki Sauna (extra costs) with Finnish saunas, Turkish steam baths and an ice-cold immersion bath.


The amusement park offers many breathtaking experiences including roller coasters, a giant 500 meter long white-water slide and a very fast toboggan.

For the younger ones, there is a giant playground, a large ball pool, puppet shows and a Fairy Tale Wonderland. There is also a 3-D cinema.

In wintertime, the amusement park closes, but the Tikibad is open from 10:00-22:00 as well as a ski school, permanent playgrounds, trampolines and midget golf.

5. Sprookjeswonderland.

Kooizandweg 9, 1601 LK Enkhuizen. This is a theme park for little children, up to the age of 7. There is a small beach across the road.
Open 12 April-25 October 10:00- 17:00 (most weekends until 18.00) Admission €9.50 Under 2 free. Parking is free. Dogs can be brought along.

7. Avonturenpark Hellendoorn

 Luttenbergerweg 22, 7447 PB Hellendoorn

This park is a little further afield, near Zwolle. Open 18th April-26th October. Admission €22,50. (21,50 online) Entrance is free if you visit on your birthday. This is a large amusement park with many attractions including roller coasters, log flume, white-water rafting, adventure playground plus many shows featuring famous characters.

6. Walibi World

 Spijkweg 30, 8256RJ Biddinghuizen (near Lelystad)

This is another large theme park. Open from 5th April- 31st October. Tickets are available from 32,50 Euro(online the tickets are cheaper 27,50 Euro) for all over 3 years old. Check out the prices and please order online then you don’t have to queue INFO

This is a large theme park with jeeps, roundabouts, runaway train and musical shows for the under 8’s. Personally I think it is better to wait that your children are a bit older (for many of the attractions you need to have a certain length) … as there are lots of large roller coasters, log flumes,  Excalibur, G-Force to name but a few. Goliath is the largest roller coaster in Europe. Walibi World claims that everything in their park is higher, faster, more spectacular, bigger and more impressive than any others.

8.Moviepark Germany

This park is just across the border in Germany and although I have never been there I hear that it is a great park.
Tickets: up to 3 years old are free, 4-11 years are Euro 29,00 and older than 12 are Euro 37,00

Without traffic it is a two hour drive from Rotterdam.

Movie Park Germany, Warner Allee 1, 46244 Bottrop-Kirchhellen


“Sustainability” Coffee Morning 16th April

d3e95222-00fa-4649-b728-734b2524c4aeSusan Zijderveld had invited us to a “sustainability” coffee morning with the topic LED Lighting. There was a big group of interested UEN members that came together on this morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and to listen to Jeroen Blankenstein from Verbatim.

 And we learned the following:

 Most lightbulbs fall under the following types.

  • Normal Edison screw globe OR Mini: frosted or clear, dimmable or non-dimmable = E27 = 40w (LED 8w) 60w (LED 13w) or 100w (LED 18w)
  • Halogen 220volt thick pin, dimmable or non-dimmable   =   35w (LED 8w),   50 w (13 or 17w)
  • Halogen 12volt = MR16 – thin pin dimmable 35w (LED 8w), or think pin non-dimmable 50 w (13 or 17w)
  • Candle frosted or clear = presently no replacement but it will soon be available 


UEN visit to the Rijksmuseum on Saturday 16 May
by Maria Vasileiou

 The day broke dull and rainy on May 16. It was Saturday and a “perfect day for indoor activities, like a museum visit” as a few UEN members commented. It was the first weekend visit to a museum, namely to the Rijksmuseum, organized by the UEN and the exhibition to be seen was the much acclaimed “Late Rembrandt”. The long queues and the crowded rooms were an undeniable proof of the popularity this exhibition gained not only among the Dutch, but also among foreign visitors. A total of 520,698 visitors went to see the “Late Rembrandt” exhibition between 12 February and 17 May 2015. Finding tickets, especially during the last days of the exhibition, when UEN visited, was hard. “Never before has a Rijksmuseum exhibition attracted so many visitors”, the museum announced.

MoIMG_2889stly split into groups of two or three the 16 in total UEN visitors were impressed by the masterworks of the Dutch painter all created during the last years of his life in Amsterdam. Among the exhibits was a large number of drawings and prints, which proved extremely difficult to enjoy viewing, because of the large number of visitors. Among the paintings were a few of his most known masterworks like the Portrait of Jan SixSelf-Portrait with Two Circles, the Family Portrait and Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph. They are all paintings which eventually shaped Rembrandt’s global reputation. The exhibition, the most costly in the history of the Rijksmuseum, was a comprehensive overview of the artist’s work between approximately 1652 and his death in 1669. The information provided on the audio tour enabled us to better understand the mastery of Rembrandt, who is the greatest figure in Dutch art of the Golden Age. At the end of our visit we shared our impressions and views around a cup of coffee at one of the museum’s cafes and unfortunately that is the only photo we took,


Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-18 um 21.37.32


Anja Schwenzfeier

Anja (23) is part of the UEN AXE Bar Team and she organizes the dinners after the drinks.
She works as Research Scientist in Discover – Emulsified Foods – Category Dressings
  • How long have you been in Holland/ a member of the UEN? I moved to the Netherlands for the first time in 2005 for a study exchange and kept coming back ever since. Since the start of my PhD project at Wageningen University in 2008 I live here permanently – first in Wageningen and since two years in The Hague. Directly after joining Unilever in 2013 I also become a member of the UEN.
  • What do you like best about working and living in the Netherlands? Having lived and worked in the Netherlands for almost 10 years now there are many things I really appreciate. To name only a few in a random order there are the great bike infrastructure, the flat hierarchy and the Dutch directness.
  • Is there anything you absolutely do not like? Dutch bread
  • What do you miss from your home country? German bread…and of course my family and friends.
  • What’s the biggest difference between Holland and your own country? The quality in bread 😉 And calling everybody by his or her first name…