Jeroen Bervoets, 1982 - 2011
Jeroen Bervoets, a national of Belgium, was a UN Volunteer for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
He died on 4 April 2011 aboard a UN plane which had been on a flight from the north-eastern city of Kisangani. The plane crashed as it tried to land amid heavy rain and high winds, at N’Djili airport in Kinshasa (DRC).
He arrived in the DRC in August 2010 and joined MONUSCO in February 2011, where he was working as Assistant to the Director for Electoral Section.
To many of his friends, Jeroen was easy-going, poised and laid-back.
“Jeroen arrived discretely. Discretion is the word that becomes him,” says a fellow UN Volunteer and colleague.
“Jeroen was very positive. He did not complain and did not doubt. Instead, he always sought to contribute in positive ways. He was very, very supportive and would not miss a chance to express it,” she said.
An avid traveller, he had left his footprint in Africa, South America, and the Middle East, as well as Eastern Europe.
Jeroen held a Masters degree in economics from Université Libre de Bruxelles and an Advanced Masters in International Economics and Development from the University of Namur and the Catholic University of Louvain.
He worked for the European Commission in Brussels from 2005 to 2006 and joined the UN Volunteers in Niger in February 2008 to work on the Good Governance Programme of the United Nations Development Programme as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. A year later, he returned to the European Commission in Brussels and became Desk Officer for the Central African Republic.
In August 2010, he travelled to Kinshasa, DRC, to take on the position of Technical Assistant for the Belgian Red Cross, a post he held until December that year.
Jeroen is survived by his mother, brother and partner, fellow UN Volunteer Angele Bilemjian.
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The above tribute was first published on iSeek (the UN's Intranet) using information provided by field missions, the Departments of Peacekeeping and Field Support and OHRM, as well as comments shared by colleagues in conversations, email messages, and media accounts.