Skip to content

Who are we?

Staff & Associates

Staff are full-time YWAM personnel, while associates can be part-time non-affiliated volunteers, or affiliated with other organisations or movements. We are building a new team and looking for staff and associates to help with organising, publicity, financial management, writing, website management, and event management. Contact

Jeff & Romkje Fountain are the initiators of the Schuman Centre, and are based in Heerde, the Netherlands, 100 kms east of Amsterdam, where the Schuman Centre logistical office is located. Romkje was founder of YWAM The Netherlands and chaired the national board until 2013. Jeff was YWAM Europe director for 20 years, 1990-2009. Jeff chaired the annual Hope for Europe Round Table until 2015, while Romkje leads the Women in Leadership network. Jeff is author of Living as People of Hope, Deeply Rooted and other titles, and also writes weekly word, a weekly column on issues relating to Europe. Romkje co-leads the Heritage Tours with Jeff and assists in event management.

Kathia RScreen Shot 2015-01-19 at 14.43.37eynders, started as a full time staff member in the Schuman Centre in Heerde in January 2015. Previously, she obtained a Master's in Commercial Sciences with a specialization in International Relations, in Brussels, Belgium. Later, she took part in a Master's program in Environment and Natural Resources in Reykjavik, Iceland. After working in the private and academic sphere for several years, she shifted gears and began working with YWAM, where she developed a special interest for prayer and Biblical worldview. Fascinated by the European story, its challenges and opportunities, she joined the Schuman Centre to conduct research, and assist in communication and event management. January 2017 she opened the Schuman Salon in Brussels, to create an informal space for conversations about Europe.

cedricelina Cedric and Elina Placentino, Finland, have a cross-cultural and international marriage. She is Finnish, but grew up between Finland and England, and while raised in Belgium, he is Italian as reflected in their family name, Placentino. Recently they moved from Belgium with their two young daughters to Elina’s homeland which, as a teenager, she represented at a secular European youth parliament. This planted the idea in her mind of bringing Christian youth together to apply biblical values and perspectives to issues facing Europeans today, such as economics, migration, creation care and international relations. The result is the European Christian Youth Parliament (see

beth-oatesBeth Oates joined the Schuman Centre in January 2017, working as Personal Assistant to Jeff in the Heerde office. She holds an MA degree in International Relations and has a broad volunteer experience with projects in her native Scotland as well as in Belgium, France, Uganda, Rwanda and Greece (where she worked with YWAM and EURORELIEF in the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos Island).


ineta-2Ineta Lansdowne, Riga, Latvia: From Rīga, Latvia, Ineta worked in missions and community development in Southeast Asia from 2004-2016. She completed a course in Reconciliation and Justice Studies in England and has focused on international and interfaith relations in the global and European context. She has participated in various peace building projects in England, Latvia, Thailand, Myanmar and also writes a weekly blog Currently she is pursuing studies in Theology and World Religions at University of Latvia.

mari-blajMari Blaj, Iasi, Romania: Mari holds a degree in Linguistics from the Faculty of Letters and did a master in Mediterranean Culture and Civilization at the Faculty of History, State Univ. of Iasi. In between she also studied Christian Worldview at the College of Humanities and Intl Studies, Univ. of the Nations, Switzerland. Mari worked in publishing before joining the faculty of the College of Humanities and Intl Studies from U. of N. where she teaches causes of poverty and introduction to biblical worldview. The last 15 years she spoke and thought in several countries on 4 continents, from Saint Petersburg to Santiago de Chile, from Prague to Erevan and Bombay. She also served in humanitarian projects in Africa (Mali, 2000 and Tanzania, 2012, 2013, and 2014).
Hobby: ideas, politics, gardening

Lavinia BesliuLavinia Besliu, Iasi, Romania: Lavi has a degree in history and a MD in Intl Relationships at the State Univ. of Iasi, Romania. In 2010-2011 she studied Cultural Studies and Comparative Religious at the College of Humanities and Intl Studies, UofN. The last few years Lavi had been trained in oral history through the Institute of Oral History in Cluj. After her training at UofN she joined ywam Iasi as part-time staff. Lavi keeps teaching history in one of the most appreciated high schools in the city, Richard Wumbrandt College. From 2012 she and Mari initiated the Romanian office of SCES. Besides working with SCES as researcher, she was and still is involved in several research projects using oral history methodology, both in Romania and in North Africa, focused on communism and post-communism, as well as European values in Muslim countries.
Hobby: intl. relations, simple people, education, Tunisia, Tanzania.

Laura MihalyLaura Mihaly, Cluj-Napoça, Romania, is married to Florin and has two children: Sergiu (11) and Andrei (6). Together with her husband she is pioneering a new ministry in Cluj-Napoca, to train Christian leaders living out biblical values in different spheres of society. She teaches in YWAM schools, runs programmes of serving in local public schools and leads a youth group in the local church.




evertvdpollProf Dr Evert Van der Poll

Evert and his wife Yanna are Dutch but have lived in southern France for many years engaged in church planting and academic work. Evert is professor of Religious Studies and Missiology at teh Evangelical Theological Faculty in Heverlee, Leuven, Belgium. His book Europe and the Gospel offers an overview of the origins and nature of Europe, relating contemporary European developments to the formative influence of Christianity. The paradox of Europe, he states, is that it has been largely formed by Christianity, but also by the rejection of the Christian message and institutions.


The Schuman Council is an advisory council which gathers annually on or about Europe Day, May 9, and participates in the State of Europe Forum.

These Schuman Councillors are invited, at their own discretion, to:

  • offer asked or unasked for advice
  • participate in the planning of the State of Europe forum annually, and
  • attend the annual State of Europe Forum on Europe Day, May 9, held in the capital of the nation holding the EU presidency.

Councillors include:

Dr Thomas Bloomer, provost, University of the Nations, Burtigny, CH

Dr Walter Dürr, pastor, Jahu Fellowship, Biel, CH

Johannes Fichtenbauer, Vienna, A

Peter Greyling, Christian Heritage, Cambridge, UK

Gerard Kelly, blessNet, F

Dr Michael Schluter, RelationshipsGlobal, Cambridge, UK

Dr Thomas Schirrmacher, Martin Bucer Seminary, Bonn, D

Jonathan Tame, Relationships Global, Cambridge, UK


The Schuman Centre is also an associate member of the Christian Political Foundation of Europe