July 20, 2016

Wendy van der Veen

Wendy van der VeenWendy was born in the Netherlands (Holland) in The Hague in 1964 and brought up in Rijswijk (Z-H) the only daughter of multicultural parents. She was brought up in the typical atmosphere of a country that was recovering after the Second World War but influenced by the era of “flower power”. Holland is a country which is recognized internationally for its very strong feelings towards tolerance and respect , freedom of expression and the ability to offer many possibilities to individuals to develop their own talents.

The strong feelings she has for the issues of equality, respect and tolerance have been absorbed since birth. Coming from a multicultural family where Jewish, German, Dutch, Hague. Those celebrations were for Wendy an excellent example of how society should be, incorporating peace, harmony, love and understanding.

Wendy studied in order to enter the University but decided to follow the career of an International Secretary. Equipped with 5 languages she wanted to look for new horizons and attracted by the way the Andalucian way of life in Southern Spain she moved there in 1985

Arriving in Spain she found herself in a small town of Fuengirola, in the province of Malaga. At that time most of the foreigners living there were from the North of Europe attracted by the weather and lifestyle. There were no immigrants as such in Fuengirola whose main income was derived from tourism. Here she met her husband and they still live in Fuengirola here with their daughter.

Wendy has worked within different industries. In the first instance her love of art led her to set up her own business importing from Holland. Later with a business partner she set up a retail outlet concentrating on bridal and evening wear. The business expanded to include different countries and also cultures, being the first outlet in Spain to hire out original Scots Kilts for weddings. Complete of course with the sporran and other official regalia!

Wendy met Francis Jones 2010 and after long conversations it was obvious that they both had a lot in common on their view of what is happening in the world. They shared a common goal that the future should be one where this diverse world should encourage tolerance and respect for all whether they differ through culture, religion, colour or disability.

Fortunately meeting with other enthusiastic people who also share the same aims together they decided to set up the International Black & White Association and register it in Spain. As co-founder and secretary of IBWA Wendy has had the privilege to meet many other people with the same ideas and to be able to bring the subject of intolerance and understanding to the eyes and ears of others. Wendy is proud to be a part of the Association and to promote its very relevant and important objectives.