Last week twenty-seven Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten showed their appreciation to the Dutch Disaster Fund (Nationaal Rampenfonds – NRF) by preparing a suitcase of gifts and making a warm ‘Thank You’ll video for its Board and Project Manager.
Back in May 2018, the Dutch Disaster Fund (Nationaal Rampenfonds) decided to financially assist St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, and Saba non-profit organizations seeing the devastation after the two hurricanes, being well aware of the important role NGOs play in their communities. After well-attended information sessions on all three islands and several press releases, the NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) got the opportunity to submit a grant application in which they explained their needs and recovery plans. A total of 50 proposals were received of which 30 were selected by a committee, which was specifically established for this project. A large variety of projects related to senior care, children/youth, and education, repair of facilities, sports & Culture, nature & environment, community building, and disaster planning were financed for a total amount of Euro 2 million.
After the signing of the agreements, the 27 NGOs started with the implementation of their projects at the end of 2018. Due to the pandemic organizations got some extra time to finalize the projects. Early this year all organization completed their final reports.
Unfortunately, the NRF board was unable to visit the projects on all three islands due to the Corona pandemic. In an effort to express their appreciation, the NGOs decided to come together and figure out a way to share a big ‘Thank You’. Local gifts, several made by children and participants during the project, were packed and sent to the Netherlands.
Additionally, a ‘Thank You video was made where a large number of organizations contributed through words of thanks and dance on the NGO community song “we are ONE” by King Vers. The video link can be seen via the link http://bit.ly/NRF-THANKYOU and through several Facebook pages of the NGOs.
In the upcoming weeks, the NGOs will also produce a short documentary sharing their achievements and challenges. Most NGOs will go beyond by including the feedback from their beneficiaries. All videos will be compiled in a larger video which in addition to the written reports will definitely contribute to the understanding of the impact that this grant made on all three islands.
The NGOs once again thank NRF and are looking forward to hopefully welcome them to St. Maarten, Saba and St. Maarten for a personal meet and greet!