Asia Koerten


Asia has a master’s degree in Japanese language and culture but over the years has developed into a Human Resources, Finance and Operations specialist. In her years at ICDI Asia has gradually moved towards management of the operations and currently holds a position of co-Director.  

Finances are the most ‘down-to-earth’ part of ICDI’s operations and give Asia the opportunity of insight and involvement in all ICDI’s projects. Over the years she has gotten to know and appreciate different styles of financial administration. She works with small and large partner organizations and donors, operating in different environments and circumstances. In her position, she has been monitoring the finances of ICDI’s programs around the globe. She deals with complex bureaucratic structures, as well as shoebox bookkeeping systems. She is involved in capacity building of the partners in relation to their financial and administrative management in countries like Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Nepal, Ethiopia, Palestine, Bangladesh.

For Asia, the biggest added value of working at ICDI is that it gives her an opportunity to contribute to not only operational, but also content-related aspects. Her interests are topics such as technical programme and grant management, child and youth participation, research by children and children and nature.  

Asia moved to the Netherlands from her native Poland in 1991. She lives with her husband and her son and daughter.

As a child

As a child, Asia loved the outdoors; climbing trees, jumping over streams, building huts, picking wild berries and mushrooms. In those days there was always a whole gang of kids playing together outside and Asia loved being part of it. She undertook secret trips to the local pet shop where she spent hours watching the guinea pigs, fish and birds on sale there. She dreamed of becoming a veterinarian or a professional dog breeder.

Asia and play

Growing up in the city, Asia’s childhood was full of vibrant urban adventures. Her neighbourhood was her playground, a concrete jungle that came alive with the laughter and shouts of children. Among the many games she played, elastics was her absolute favourite. She became notorious for sneaking into her mum’s drawers, looting the elastic bands she used for mending her clothes. Together with her friends, Asia would spend endless hours jumping, challenging each other to ever more complex routines.