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WeConnect receives donation from Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

rszontvangstbzkcheque2903224The WeConnect Foundation has received a donation of over 17 thousand euros from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) in The Hague. This is part of the ministry's year-end gift. On March 28, WeConnect chairman Gilbert Isabella and director Tanja Fraai accepted the festive check. It was handed over by Mark de Boer, deputy secretary general of the ministry, and Roald Lapierre, director general of Kingdom Relations.


Extra workshops
With the money, workshops will be organized for students on Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius. The goal is to increase the equality of opportunities in their further development as students in the Netherlands and later as professionals in the labor market in Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius. WeConnect director Tanja Fraai: "With this donation, we can continue what we do but a little more intensively. We teach the students skills and give them insights so they will be more resilient when they come to the Netherlands. That is needed," Tanja stressed. Director General of Kingdom Relations Roald Lapperre adds, "WeConnect is doing valuable work for Caribbean students, both here in the Netherlands and on the islands."


Vulnerable

WeConnect president Gilbert Isabella, also the mayor of Houten, also points out the vulnerability of young people. "I lived in Bonaire. There, you always have your family around you. And then suddenly the Netherlands is very big. Here, you have to arrange things like opening a bank account. That vulnerability is really big. We also see this in the high dropout rates during studies." He points to WeConnect's workshops and networking meetings: "The students see each other, feel strengthened, and make appointments. Then I hope I have given them something that makes them feel more solid," Gilbert said.


Debate on discrimination

In addition, a somewhat more significant event for Caribbean students in the Netherlands will be organized at the end of June with the theme of dealing with and resisting discrimination. "This will include questions such as 'how do you feel in the Netherlands?', 'what could you still do if you don't feel at home somewhere?' and 'how can you deal with that'. Tanja adds, "The great thing is that with this, we are also wrapping up the year of the commemoration of slavery on July 1."

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