Chris Williams interviewed Rianne ten Veen
How long have you been involved with Birmingham Friends of the Earth?
I first joined the group around 3 years ago, after I had moved to the city.
What do you do with the Birmingham group?
I like coming to campaigns meetings to recharge my batteries, learn from and listen to others about their ideas for improving our environment.  I am particularly keen on the multi-faith and climate change project and am a member of the project’s steering group.  I feel that faiths can play an important role in solving our environmental problems.

How did you first get involved?

Having a dad who worked for an oil company, it meant that I grew up in a range of countries, including Argentina.  We lived in a compound and, to get there, had to drive past a deserted harbour that was full of oil tar and dead plants.  On the other side of the road were people trying to make ends meet while living in corrugated iron shacks.  While only around six years old, this taught me a lot about justice and sowed seeds for what I now consider as my green jihad.  
Moving to the Netherlands, I joined the Panda Club, the youth group of WWF, but soon left when they started organising parties.  All I wanted to do was save the panda!  I led a green life while living in the Netherlands and Belgium and became President of the Dutch United Nations Association while I was a law student.  This taught me a lot about justice and the environment.  It was only too easy for me to look for a group like Birmingham Friends of the Earth when I moved to the city.
Do you like working within the group?
I love it.