Ocan initiates project: “Together we will stand” fighting discrimination and racism

Stichting Ocan’s project officers are excited to conduct a series of consultation sessions on Saba and St. Eustatius slated for the period of  October 3rd   thru October 5th 2019. The purpose of these sessions will be to inform of, stimulate and review project ideas and project plans by persons and NGOs that wish to execute potentially rich social initiatives that are – amongst others –  aimed towards combating racism and discrimination, the promotion of inclusion and harmony in society.

Stichting Ocan has been tasked by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) with setting up a temporary Support Function that will aid and stimulate persons and NGOs that are not always skilled in developing and submitting project proposals for financing. The project by Stichting Ocan bears the name ‘Together We Will Stand’. It has been successfully launched starting in the Netherlands in 2018 with groups representing the  Antilles, Surinam, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cape Verde, Brazil, Eritrea,  Nigeria, and Ghana – to name a few. News items of the project have been published on the websites Back2Saba.com and Back2Statia.com. As the public entities Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire fall under the responsibility of the Dutch ministry, Stichting Ocan’s aim and duty is to also aid and stimulate the possibilities for local projects on the islands. The foundation is urging the community to already start developing their project ideas and ideally submit them using the email address ondersteuningsfunctie.decade@ocan.nl  by September 23rd  2019  before the consultations take place. Further questions can also be answered via +31 70 380 3301.

Background       

With Resolution 68/237 the United Nations proclaimed a decade in 2014 for people of African descent all over the world for a period of ten years (2014-2024) . It reads: “The resolution calls on all UN member states to take action against racism, race discrimination, hate towards migrants and associated intolerance (on grounds of race, color, origin or national or ethnic origin) so that all fundamental rights and freedoms of persons of African descent remain protected and guaranteed. The decade consists of three pillars: acknowledgment, justice, and development”.  Around the world,  UN member states will seek to actively tackle the disadvantaged position of the African diaspora in their populations.  The Dutch government has chosen to set up funds for NGOs that wish to develop and carry out initiatives that would be of benefit to the African descendants residing in the Netherlands and on the public entities of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. Stichting Ocan won the public tender for the temporary Support function for the Decade at the start of April 2018.

Aim and target group of  ‘Together We Will Stand’

The target group as laid down by the Dutch ministry and defined by the Support Function is all persons residing in the Netherlands and public entities that are of African ancestry. All may  apply for the Support function. SZW made arrangements with two Decade theme funds about the financing of these projects; namely the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Oranjefonds.  It is important to note that it is a hard requirement that submitted projects are designed to be implemented on either of the public entities of Saba, Sint Eustatius or Bonaire. The  two Funds will assess the project plans and either award or not award a financial contribution.

The support focusses among others on the strengthening of writing skills and guidance so that the fulfillment of the Decade can be achieved more through cooperation and independence from within the communities. The Support Function will also provide support with taking care of a financing plan.

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