My name is Sjaak Monster (1954). I have worked in the Netherlands since 1977 in the area of addiction treatment and since 1990 I have been working annually several times in other countries and cultures, where I have provided over a hundred weeks of training in countries such as Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Tajikistan and Ukraine on the topics of substance abuse treatment and the use of experienced expertise.
In addition, for a period of seventeen years, I guided on many occasions ‘on the spot’ groups, which worked under Romanian Roma-Gypsies. Since 1997 I have been a Coordinator, Director and President of several Dutch and foreign NGOs, and of a foreign Federation of NGOs in the area of Addiction Treatment.
Through this work I learned how to function in what were initially unfamiliar countries and cultures. Gradually I discovered that not only the contents of my trainings determine the effect on the participants, but also whether the message can be culturally accepted. I need to constantly find the connection with deep integrated standards and values. This still happens by trial and error. I would like to share my experiences with you.
One of my main passions is to work with the most marginalised in our Dutch society and within other cultures. Because of my experience, and especially my own mistakes and lessons learned, I have developed a strong desire to help others.
After my education in Mechanical Engineering I studied Social Work, Health Care Management, Addiction Sciences, and Social Sciences (MSc).