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Vanessa Hofeditz, President

Vanessa Hofeditz vanessa [at] iynf.org
Born in December 1989
Member of NFJD, Germany
Elected President in 2012

Next to spending my free time with the Naturefriends movement, I am an environmental education and European policy specialist, graduated in “Sustainability Science and Policy” and "European Studies" from Maastricht University. Since 2009 I am active in IYNF and I have been working in the fields of non-formal and environmental education ever since. My passions are environmental politics, outdoor sports and sustainability. In my free time I enjoy dancing ballet, cycling, mountaineering and traveling. My motto: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 


Petre Mrkev, Vice-president

Petre Mrkev petre [at] iynf.org
Born in November 1968
Secretary General of SPPMD, Macedonia
Elected vice-President in 2012

I have graduated as IT Engineer at the State University in Skopje in 1993. Beside mine voluntary engagements in SPPMD, currently I am professionally employed in the Basic court in Kavadarci as an IT Network Administrator. I still find some time to do EVS trainings and accreditations for the SALTO SEE Resource Center. After my previous work for US Peace Corps and UNDP/UNV in early 2000’s, I am very glad to be directly involved in the international youth work again. Looking forward to developing IYNF network further!


Joanna Wylon, Vice-president

joanna [at] iynf.org
Member of PTTK, Poland
Elected vice-President in 2014 

I have a background in tourism and I make a living as a tour guide but I'm also a dedicated NGO worker (mostly volunteer) for more than 14 years already. I started my journey with IYNF in 2010 as a participant of a youth exchange in Czech Republic and since then I become so addicted to the organisation and its people that I decided to do my EVS in the office. I left Prague in 2012 but definitely not the organisation - so here I am now, your brand new Vice-president :) I lead a very hectic lifestyle with a lot of travelling and outdoor sports - I'm totally addicted to spending the time in nature, camping and hiking, but the most important thing in my life are the mountains and the feeling of freedom they give me. My two mottos: " Only you can be the one to free yourself" and "Do what you love and the success will follow" 


Thomas Gits, Vice-president

Thomas Gitsthomas [at] iynf.org
Member of ATB de Natuurvrienden, Belgium
Elected vice-President in 2014

My involvement in IYNF started in 2013. Since my first activity, the organization ‘Connected & Inspired’ me and I was already looking forward to attend (and create) more activities. I like IYNF because our organization gives young people the chance to reflect their own passions, talents and personal interests through the activities of IYNF, which makes it beneficial for both sides. My personal passions are environmentalism, self-governance, activism, climbing, playing board games, trying to make this world a little bit of a better place, organizing (music) events, hiking and travelling. My personal motto is: ‘It’s better to light a candle, then to complain about the darkness’. We are living in a world full of challenges, and even though sometimes it is very difficult to see the forest for the trees, I think it is important to focus on the positive aspects of today’s challenges! 


Lars Meulenbergs, Vice-president

Lars MeulenbergsLars [at] iynf.org
Born in March 1991
Member of ATB de Natuurvrienden, Belgium
Elected vice-President in 2014

I'm member of the Naturefriend movement since childhood. It is part of my everyday life. I’m a pure Naturefriend inside and out. The values of NFI and IYNF are really important for me. My passion is mountaineering, political activism and teaching. Since 2013 I teach in an alternative primary school, working in so called Freinet-education. If I find some free time I play Frisbee or organise a small festival 'Lichtieval'. In 2012 ATB and I organized a tree planting project in Senegal together with the Senegalese Naturefriends. Listening to Bob Marley’s "Three Little birds" makes always my day. 

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