Mission & Vision
Radio La Benevolencija – Humanitarian Tools Foundation (RLB) is a Dutch NGO that empowers groups and individuals who are the target of hate speech and ensuing acts. We produce media edutainment (Entertainment-Education) programmes, and implement complementary grassroots practice activities, to educate citizens in vulnerable societies on how to recognise and resist manipulation to violence and how to deal with trauma – stimulating them to become active bystanders against incitement and hate.
RLB is strictly non-ethnic, non-denominational and non-governmental. It acts against incitement to identity-based violence and promotes an agenda of sanity, empathy, and mutual help among targets of hate speech and those protecting them- all under the motto: “Attack problems, not people!”
- Credibility: We act on research-based Know-how, evaluate, and publish our impact
- Solidarity: We act out of empathy for others and respect for individual differences
- Self-empowerment: We stimulate both potential perpetrators and their targets to take control of their own lives.
- Individuals vulnerable to Hate speech to resist being manipulated for the benefit of others.
- Targets of hate Speech to forge solidarity alliances to help themselves.
- Active bystandership: We are committed to ‘active bystandership’: an individual’s belief in their own agency and responsibility to intervene against destructive action.
“Attack Problems- not people!”
RLB works to increase resilience to processes that lead societies and individuals to all forms of Identity-based violence. We use the best available research, broadcast- and online media behaviour change practices, to effectively reach audiences vulnerable to incitement. and empower them to resist it as “active bystanders”. This in order to fight polarization and make a durable contribution to social cohesion and conflict transformation in our increasingly vulnerable societies.
We contribute to a future world that has overcome polarization and violence, acting in unison to deal with its dangers and problems.
The founding of Radio La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation was inspired by La Benevolencija Sarajevo, a local humanitarian organization set up by members of the city’s Jewish community, which played a unique role during the Bosnian war (1992-1995). The organization was regarded as neutral, its members acting as emissaries and negotiators between the warring parties in the conflict (Bosniak Muslims, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs). This enabled them to support the civilians affected by the violence.
During the siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996), the organization supplied the city with up to 40% of the needed medicines, and smuggled thousands of people out of the city by providing them with documents as members of the Jewish community, emulating the actions of those who saved Jews from the concentration camps by providing them with foreign passports. Acting themselves as they would have liked others to act towards them in times of threat, the organization evolved into an ethnic mix and became a symbol for empathy, solidarity and self-empowerment among targets of hate speech and ethnocentric violence.
George Weiss set up a European support network for La Benevolencija Sarajevo in the 1990s. Some years later (2002) he founded, together with a group of Amsterdam-based media professionals, Radio La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation: a Dutch NGO working in La Benevolencija Sarajevo’s spirit of self-empowerment through a solidarity alliance among targets of persecution and those who stand up to help them.
Radio La Benevolencija is strictly non-ethnic, non-denominational and non-governmental. It first started operating in Rwanda in 2003, and later extended its activities to neighboring countries (Burundi in 2007 and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008). European operations commenced in 2016.
Anneke van Hoek, Chair
Anneke van Hoek is an independent criminologist, researcher, manager and social entrepreneur. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of crime prevention, victimology, peacebuilding and communication and is specialised in media for social change, ethnocentric violence, civil unrest, restorative justice and police studies.
In 2010 she co-founded Restorative Justice Nederland, an expertise centre specialised in stimulating, innovating and improving restorative practices within and outside of the criminal justice system.
She is co-founder, manager (2003 – 2008), senior advisor (2009 – 2015) and chair of the board (2016 >) at Radio La Benevolencija.
Nan van Houte
Nan van Houte has a long career in contemporary performing arts, with a focus on inclusivity, artists’ rights and the social impact of the arts. With a degree in theatre science and philosophy, she figured in almost all off-stage positions in the field. In addition to 15 years as director of Theatre Frascati, she has been – and still is – active as dramaturge, coach, tutor, journalist and policy advisor. Her wide international experience informed her position as Secretary General of IETM, which she held for the last six years. Alongside her board membership of La Benevolencija, she is currently chair of the board of Dancing on the Edge (artistic exchange with Middle East and North Africa) and dramaturge/producer of Breaking the Silence, a reconciliation performance in Cambodia and Rwanda.
Sikko Cleveringa is the director of consultancy firm and network organization CAL-XL, which specializes in the development and implementation of social-artistic programs and projects in Europe (especially Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and Slovakia). In addition to providing organizational advice, CAL-XL provides training and coaching for creative producers and artists, quality and impact management, monitoring and evaluation. Sikko has a background in Community Development and Rural Development, and has ten years of working experience in Africa, in particular in Burkina Faso and Rwanda.
Hendrik Kaptein, Treasurer
Hendrik Kaptein teaches jurisprudence at Leiden University and elsewhere. He has written books & articles on restorative justice, on legal ethics and on logic, argumentation & rhetoric. His latest book (in print) is on historical backgrounds of double bookkeeping. He is a board member / financial supervisor at cultural and other non-profit organisations. He is one of the master bell-ringers of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) in Amsterdam. He is also an occasional steam locomotive driver and writer on steam locomotive technology (he is a full member of the Advanced Steam Traction Trust). And he is a Red Cross volunteer, both ‘in the field’ and as a manager.
Peter Knoope is a Counter Terrorism (CT) expert and a career diplomat. He served as inter alia Head of Mission to Afghanistan and headed the Humanitarian Aid section at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was the founder and first Director of the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT – The Hague) until August 2014, the Deputy Director of the Policy and Strategy Department of the Dutch National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (NCTb), responsible for the coordination between the Dutch government’s national and international counter-terrorism policy. Currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the ICCT the Clingendael Institute and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa, Peter is a board member of the Hedayah Centre of Excellence, and associate of the Human Security Collective. He has worked in CT and CVE and research and development in a variety of countries in the middle east and Africa.
and Development Cooperation
The governance structure of the organisation consists of an Executive Board, a Director, a Management Team at the HQ in Amsterdam, and local Heads of Mission (HoMs) overseeing field operations. From 2015, a Regional Coordinator was appointed to oversee implementation of the regional projects in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
RLB is led by George Weiss, its founding Director. The Director bears final responsibility for the organisation and is overseen by the Executive Board of the Foundation. He is assisted by the following members of the management team:
- Finance Manager/Controller responsible for overseeing financial integrity, compliance and auditing for all the offices of RLB (in Europe, Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo ).
- Programme Manager responsible for developing, coordinating and line-managing the different projects in the 3 African countries, as well as ensuring donor criteria compliance & reporting, supporting both the Finance Controller and Regional Coordinator in the execution of their tasks.
- Programme Manager responsible for developing, coordinating and line-managing the the organisation’s projects in Europe in close cooperation with RLB’s European content creation team and partners.
- Regional Coordinator responsible for the content development, implementation and monitoring of regional projects, ensuring thematic coherence and harmonisation of activities.
The organisation has three registered offices in the countries of operation – Burundi, Rwanda and DR Congo situated in Bujumbura, Kigali, and Bukavu/Goma respectively. Each of the country offices is managed by a Head of Mission who reports directly to the Director and Programme manager at the Head Office. The HoMs are the focal points in their respective countries for the implementation of project activities. Dedicated support for project implementation in the field is provided by national programme, finance and admin/logistics staff in each of the respective missions. RLB has in-house production studios, scriptwriters, journalists, and actors for the facilitation of media outputs.
Code of conduct
RLB is a member of Partos, the Dutch umbrella organization for NGOs working in international development. It endorses and follows the Partos Code of Conduct 2012 and therefore the values regarded as commonplace within the sector. The RLB Code of Conduct is part of the individual employment contract between RLB and its employees. It also applies to consultants and associates in a broad sense (including experts, volunteers, interns, trainees and members of the Board), regardless of the location of their activities for the organisation. RLB asks all staff to abide by the Code of Conduct, with clear agreements regarding integrity, good governance, sexual harassment, fraud, and gender inequality. An Anti-Fraud policy is also in place along with a section on Fraud Response Plan/ Whistleblowing. Copies of these policies are available on request.
Radio La Benevolencija Humanitarian Tools Foundation (La Benevolencija/RLB) was founded by a deed of incorporation on 21 May 2002 as a Stichting (Foundation) under Dutch law and has its seat/registered office in the municipality of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It was registered with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel) as a not-for-profit Foundation on 18 July 2002. The Statutes were last amended on 12 May 2003.
Fiscal number (BTW/VAT): NL811072423B01
Chamber of Commerce number: 34176587
Bank Account Number: IBAN: NL70 ABNA 0549 3003 09 / BIC: ABNANL2A
Remuneration of individual management (Director, HQ) complies with the Executives’ Pay (Standards) Act (Wet Normering Topinkomens). WNT compliance is demonstrated in the explanatory notes of the audited annual accounts.
RLB strives to be fair in staff remuneration. Each local office has a salary grid in place where remuneration is commensurate with skills, competencies, and experience of the employees. The organisation’s staff members are remunerated in line with comparable organisations. Employee provisions such as pensions, medical insurance, maternity leave and such other benefits as required by the local labour law are in place in each country. For consultants and fixed-term contracts, the local labour law provisions are strictly implemented. At HQ, the benchmark is the salary scale provided by Partos.
RLB has been recognised as a Public Benefit Organisation (ANBI: ‘Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling’) by the Dutch Tax Authorities. Natural and legal persons making donations to an ANBI organisation may deduct their gifts from their Dutch income tax or corporate income tax.
RLB publishes its Annual Report on its website. The Annual Reports include an overview of activities as well as audited financial information and are available here.
Thank you for your interest in working for Benevolencija.
Unfortunately there are currently no vacancies available.