Mineke Foundation Information Session 31 January 2019
Library, Stromarkt in Deventer.
The Mineke Foundation is one of the Charities the Anglican Church Twente supports. We did receive an invitation to a Relationship Evening in Deventer.
Cees Timmer the host for this evening and board member of Mineke Foundation, did welcome all guests and speakers on this Relations Evening of the Mineke Foundation. The first speaker was Tonia Dabwe, Chair of the Foundation, which was inaugurated ten years ago. She gave a short introduction.
Tonia’s mother, who was abducted in 1992 during the Liberian civil war and never heard of ever since, did start this line of work together with Tonia’s father who is still living in Dabwe town. To continue the work her mother Mineke started and as a memorial institution, the Mineke Foundation was founded. She told that the holding the Chair for the Foundation for her is a voluntary job, which she regards as very important.
Liberia faces a lot of social and economic challenges. The roots of the Mineke Foundation have always been to overcome some of these problems by; Education, School for Agriculture, and Support to small Enterprises. Tonia’s parents had done the same, and also contributed to Construction of Roads, Running Water, Bridges and Electric Power Facilities. Also the institution of a village council in Dabwe Town was something her father was instrumental in establishing.
The situation in Liberia is characterized by a high unemployment rate, poor education, poor health system and infrastructure. Therefore the Mission and Objective for the Foundation is improvement of low cost education, teaching skills and knowledge particularly to young women, so they can; start companies, gain knowledge in social rights, become economically self-supporting and create work possibilities for others.
The present activities are: Professional training and Entrepreneur courses like hairdressing, patisserie and soap making. Yearly 40 to 90 trainees, of which 90% female take these courses. Also a Kids Club, for five to twelve year olds, are doing Spelling Contests. The best three will gain a scholarship to get higher education. A new project is the Professional Skills, social enterprises and the setup of Mineke Foundation’s own soap making company in Liberia to create jobs. Therefore they have to be skilled in Soap making quality control, marketing etc. Currently 98% of the soap used in Liberia is imported. She finished up by expressing the hope that this will be one of the pillars of the Mineke Foundation for the coming years.
Next item was an interview by Marije Alma of the Mineke Foundation with the wife of the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana and Liberia, Conny Wesgaard-Strikker. She expressed that she was very interested in these NGO projects and did visit the Mineke Foundation. She noted that amidst of the chaos of Monrovia the area around the Foundation’s premises did look well organized and tidy.
She met with Tonia’s father, teachers and students. She also sat in on a lecture of ‘citizenship’ at the Youth Club. She expressed the importance of the Mineke Foundation with regard to microeconomic initiatives in which by a small number of students the country as a whole will benefit.
There is also a great demand for ‘professional education’ in this country where there is a great birth rate – meaning a lot of youngsters. She mentioned that the country is still in the first phase of rebuilding after the bloody civil war. Liberia is not a focus country for the Netherlands as such, that is why NGO’s like the Mineke Foundation are that important. She wrapped up by mentioning that promoting the country is a must.
The third speaker was Fred van der Kraaij. He lived in Liberia for a long time and did provide a ‘detailed’ insight how everything went about from the founding of the first independent republic in 1847 by returning black Americans, in Africa; Liberia. They were only three percent of the population at that time and still are. He mentioned that the country was rich in natural resources like iron ore, rubber, cocoa, rice etc., however most of these enterprises were run by foreign companies, leaving only little revenue for the local government.
In 1980 a bloody coup by Samual Doe did start a grim period of 14 years of civil war. Numerous victims, infrastructure destroyed, widespread anarchy and introduction of the ‘child soldiers’.
From 2018 the country was led by the first female president on the African continent, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. During her government the country was struck by the Ebola virus. This reduced strongly the number of medical staff because of lack of protective gear when treating the patients. (Mineke Foundation did also support this fight against Ebola).
Fred mentioned that in the current situation the education system was severely corrupted. From 2019 onwards the country is led by ex-soccer star George Weah. He was elected with the help of a number of political parties. George Weah is the first elected, indigenous president since the creation of Liberia some 170 years ago. Regarding to the Human Rights; there is a freedom of speech, assembly, organization and press, though these are under pressure in George Weah’s government.
Currently education and health care are being looked at, there is still enormous poverty with approximately 90% of people being unemployed. Possible corruption crept into his government as well with declarations of possession, and fast growing house ownership. The president’s friend gets a major contract for road construction etc. Fred concluded his contribution with the words that the future is still unsure owing to of a culture of lawlessness, a weak rule of law and a hampering process of national reconciliation.
The information session was concluded with drinks and snacks in the restaurant of the Library. This also provided the attendants also the opportunity to have a chat and exchange views amongst each other.
More information on the Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/MinekeFoundation/posts
(website – currently not active as it is being renewed) http://minekefoundation.org/
Mineke Foundation (Feedback Jan. 2019
MEDE DANKZIJ U!
Onze opleidingen, clubs en hulp geven de mensen in en rond mijn geboortedorp in Liberia zelfwaarde, hoop en een kans om op een positieve manier invulling te geven aan hun leven. Uw bijdrage, hoe groot of klein ook, helpt hier direct aan mee.
Ik ben ontzettend blij en bevoorrecht dat ik de mogelijkheid heb om de bijzondere droom van mijn ouders te mogen voortzetten. Ik ben dankbaar voor wat er tot nu toe is bereikt, maar er is nog veel te doen. Dit kan ik niet alleen. Uw hulp maakt voor Mineke Foundation het verschil. Bedankt voor uw steun!
SPELLING BEE COMPETITIE
Ook dit jaar was er een de Spelling Bee competitie voor onze Kids Club. De onderminister van Jeugdontwikkeling was een van de juryleden. De deelnemers hebben voor deze wedstrijd een lijst met 350 woorden gekregen die ze correct moesten leren spellen.
De competitie vormt een extra stimulans voor de kinderen van onze Kids Club om goed te leren lezen en schrijven.
We gaan een leeshoek voor kinderen en jongeren inrichten in ons kantoor in Liberia! Hiermee hebben de leden van onze clubs nog meer mogelijkheden om hun leesvaardigheid te ontwikkelen. Ook willen we (oude) schoolboeken aanschaffen, zodat kinderen bij ons huiswerk kunnen maken met behulp van boeken die hun ouders niet kunnen betalen. Om de bibliotheek te vullen, kunnen we extra donaties heel goed gebruiken.
UITBEREIDING NAAR OOST-LIBERIA
Onze Liberiaanse medewerkers hebben op verzoek van een parlementslid onderzocht wat nodig is voor Mineke Foundation om haar trainingen ook aan te bieden in Oost-Liberia. We hebben hiervoor vier verschillende dorpen bezocht. Op basis hiervan wordt een voorstel gemaakt met de verwachte kosten en planning van het project. Het doel is om 500 tot 1000 mensen in deze regio een vakopleiding te geven. Als we hier overeenstemming over bereiken, biedt dit ons een fantastische kans om mensen in dit rurale deel van Liberia van een opleiding te voorzien, waardoor zij een eigen inkomen kunnen gaan verdienen.
BEZOEK AAN LIBERIA
Tonia bezocht van 19 september tot 12 oktober Liberia. Met het team in Liberia besprak ze de voortgang en plannen voor 2019. Ook had ze ontmoetingen met mensen uit het lokale netwerk.
Het is goed te zien dat er, ondanks diverse uitdagingen, vooruitgang is. Zo nemen steeds meer kinderen deel aan de Kids en Youth Clubs, doen de trainees aan onze vakopleidingen het goed en is er veel interesse van scholen om met ons samen te werken m.b.t. computervaardigheden.
Er zijn ook kansen en uitdagingen. Een kans is het opzetten van een Research Café voor mensen die via internet dingen willen uitzoeken. Hiermee benutten we ons computerlab extra. Een uitdaging is het beschikbaar krijgen van micro leningen tegen een realistische rente. Op dit moment wordt er 22% of soms zelfs 72% gevraagd. Voor de staf in Liberia blijft de energievoorziening een grote uitdaging. Deze is niet stabiel.
De reis leverde veel informatie en vooral veel inspiratie op en inzicht in waar we de komende maanden aan gaan werken.
INTERVIEW TONIA RADIO 1
In augustus is onze oprichtster Tonia geïnterviewd voor het programma Bureau Buitenland op Radio 1. In dit gesprek vertelt Tonia over de politieke en economische situatie in Liberia, de kansen van Liberia en over Mineke Foundation.
Luister hier het interview:
The Mineke Foundation is supported by our congregation.
Mineke Foundation website: Currently the website is under revision.
Young Achievers - Namibia (Feedback from 2018 - 26 February 2018)
Every youth must succeed
In an era where young people, detached from the analogue route, have to struggle for a place in the digital world where events that exert influence do not necessarily point them in the right direction, youth groups, gathered with a useful purpose have proven to be the new wind of change.
Politics has somewhat done its part, but the problems facing today's youth cannot be singlehandedly resolved by any political affiliations as well as a youth establishment, which addresses a young person’s day-to-day outlook on life directly.
Impactful and deliberately established, the Young Achievers Empowerment Project, a youth-led organisation from the densely populated informal Windhoek went operational in 2004. The thorn in the flesh at the time was young people (school going) who did not have existing career guidance from school.
Young Achievers Empowerment Project is a youth-led organisation that inspires and motivates young people to have a sense of vision and mission in their lives, one of the main aims is to make sure that 100% of the youths that go through our program make it to tertiary education.
A case in point was a young boy who, when asked what his vision was, said he wanted to become a doctor, but he had found himself placed in the wrong field – commerce. Learners in this field are destined to take on business, humanity and commercial courses.
An infuriated Dr Pandu Hailonga realising that the schools were not offering the right guidance at, created Young Achievers to remedy the problem and show the way to go. The Genesis days of the group featured a group of learners seated under a tree and being educated not only on life after high school but finding their vision and purpose in becoming a responsible youth in society.
In a circle of close to 20 students at the time would be aspiring doctors, teachers, accountants, and others with no knowledge of the professions they wanted to pursue.
As a means of bringing them closer to the reality they aspired to, the group would invite qualified people who were already in these professions to have a one-on-one conversation with the students. Thus, the students learnt what it would take (regarding academic requirements) to become, for example, a lawyer. They found out what the day-to-day workload, the salary, and alternative growth paths would be like within that profession. Many students greatly benefitted from and continued to benefit from this exercise.
As the youth group started to grow, it was necessary to include other activities in the program. Here, the group would start with outreach activities. The activities include visits to other young, often destitute people, living in impoverished environments. With these young people, we would share information we saw fit for their situation. It could be education or opportunities in offices about which many young people did not know. It could be sanitation or just information on how to deal with health issues. We would visit nursing homes and orphanage homes to visit and help with whatever needs we could meet.
The group continued to grow, and the continual need to keep young people busy was the order of the day. We introduced Educational Trips aimed at introducing young people to their own country. For young people, being told about their own country by travellers was both frustrating and a shame. Seeing how at times the finance button comes into play when it came to travelling, we decided to take the youth to places in their country on an annual basis. These annual trips, mostly to tourist-attractions to see and live the landscape of their own beautiful country, opened the eyes of many of the young people in the group.
Eight years ago, we started to host the Katutura Career Fairs for schools in informal settlements. The reality on the ground is that the tertiary institutions that host most of the Career Fairs are not near these schools. Subsequently, the students from these schools are not able to attend these activities, due to either the school not having a bus or limited numbers.
Ours, the Katutura Career Fair, would have the same concept, inviting companies, universities and other stakeholders to give the light of opportunities for students after high school. This event continues to grow by the year as the youth group continues to attract more exhibitors by the year.
The footprint of the organisation continues to grow with government departments showing interest in the concept. The trust that the group has earned gives us the upper hand as other organisations admire having the group spearheading many educational projects. As affiliates to the line ministry (ministries that deliver programs and services to the general public) and the National Youth Council, on numerous occasions, the group was approached to take on projects. Emanating from these programs are climate change, education, gender-based violence, and other social-oriented activities involving young people.
The results of individual growth within the group have started manifesting. Most of the members of the group have graduated with many still in tertiary institutions. Those who have graduated have started to give back to the group by taking the younger members under their wings in order to mentor and guide them to their aspired position.
Our aims are simple. Every young person must have a dream, a realistic dream. They must have a direction for their dream and through the journey, and be responsible young members of society. They must be young people who are aware of their surroundings and be in a position to constructively influence the design of their community. When they ‘cross the river’, while there are many rivers ahead to cross, they must lift as they rise. They must be able to help those who are not yet in a place of comfort. Moreover, as such, they will build healthy communities. Currently, the group boasts of many members who have been invited to be part of international youth conferences and dialogues to design the futures in which they aspire to live.
Due to demand, the group has been able to decentralise the concept to five other regions within Namibia. These branches continue to flourish, under the administration of the young people themselves.
However, the operations and administrations of the group sometimes fall short due to a couple of shortcomings. Finance continues to be a thorn in the flesh of a non-profit making organisation like the Young Achievers. The group has been able to introduce finance creating mechanisms, but it does not always solve the immediate needs per se. We have been able to start a tour guiding company called Kasi Adventures and continue to organise fundraising activities. The activities that support the objectives of the group, however, require considerable financing which the group sometimes cannot absorb. Often, available finances limit many such programs. The line ministry has done a tremendous job in helping us here and there with activities, but they are not always available when the need arises.
The second is the attitudes of young people in general. While it is one thing to speak about helping put young people on the right path in life, it is a tough task to get them on course. With activities already limited, getting young people on course continues to be our biggest struggle. However, with the continuing growth of the membership in the leading group and its sister branches, we continue to remain hopeful we can help young people to become responsible citizens.
In summary, the group, which is entirely youth-led today, continues to march forward with an ultimate aim of getting every young person to be part of the circle. We continue to meet every Saturday at the Windhoek Multi-Purpose Youth Centre to discuss different issues and matters relating to the youth and find ways to come up with possible solutions. Our motto is, ‘Education, self-reliance and development’ and the ultimate vision of the group are to see all youth in Namibia make it to tertiary education and eventually to graduate. Today the group has grown, boasting a total membership of 400 with regional branches around the country.
Pandu Hailonga ?
Young Achievers - Namibia (Feedback from 2017 - 26 February 2018)
Dear Netherland Anglican Church
On behalf of the Young Achievers Empowerment Project. We would like to thank you for your generous donation. Your financial support makes it possible for us to carry out our daily projects and activities.
With your faithful financial contribution over the years as well as the recent donation, it is shown that you have demonstrated your deep commitment to our organization to be able to empower young people in Namibia. The funds would be used for our Center and other activities such as public lectures, educational tour and our annual conference with all our branches from around the country. We can guarantee you that your funds won’t go to waste and they will make a huge difference in the lives of these young people.
Your generous support makes it possible for our organization to exist and to make the community a great place to live. Thank you again for your support.
PO Box 25720, Windhoek, Republic of Namibia;
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Young Achievers - Namibia (Feedback from 2016)
Youg Achievers is a group of more then 60 youngsters from Katutura (Namibia), ages varying between seven and 22, from the former township Katutura in the city of Windhuk.
Youngsters from this township normally have limited chances to develop and achieve something in the end. From dissatisfaction about this situation and from a strong drive to achieve something a few youngsters did set up the "Young Achievers"
Young Achievers has following three goals:
- Give youngsters a vision towards life or an objective in life.
- Inspire youngsters and motivate them to become responisble citizens (locally, regionally as well as global).
- Support youngsters in their personal growth towards positive avenues.
Young Achievers meet every Saturday between 13:00 and 16:00 in the Multi Purpose / Youth Centre. This Centre has been allocated by the Ministry of Youth. During these sessions all activities are aimed at three essences in the developement of skills:
- Intellectual skills
- Professional skills
- Social skills
The Young Achievers are being supported by a group of adults, acting as coordinators. These coordinators, originating from the same township did experience by themselves the difficulty to achieve something from this background. They, however, have been succesfull (completed their studies at university, promoted and do have jobs at the Ministry or at the United Nations) and do feel a moral duty to support others in this.
The coordinators are, as it were, 'role models' for the youngsters. As expert by experience they know very well what the tresholds area and what kind of help is needed for the youngsters. They too sense that motivation has to come from the youngsters themselves.
Achievers United supports the project Young Achievers Namibia. Our contacts to Young Achievers Namibia are Ferdinand and Pandu Hailonga-van Dijk.
The Young Achievers - Namibia is also supported by our congregation.
Young Achievers: A Personal Testimony by Lowbousky Kaalush
Since the establishment of the Young Achievers Empowerment Project in September of 2004, the Anglican Church has been the sole donor of this youth-led organization in Namibia. It empowers and motivates young people to have a sense of vision and mission in their lives. Highlighting this is the article below, a testimonial from one of the members onhow the funding of the Anglican Church has made an impact on his life.
My name is Lowbousky Kaalushu, and I am a member of the Young Achievers Empowerment Youth project, joining the organization in 2010 when I was in my 10th grade. I am now a final year student at the International University of Management and I am completing my Honours' Degree in Travel and Tourism.
In my first year, I was lucky to get funds from the Anglican Church, which I used to buy my Laptop. Currently, I am still using it to complete my assignments and type up my schoolwork. Ever since I joined the group, my life has changed drastically in a positive way. I cannot imagine how I would have turned out if I were not a part of this amazing project. The organization gave me shelter and a sense of belonging. Before I joined the group, I lacked self-confidence. I had low self-esteem, suffered from stage fright and I had poor communication skills.
I overcame all of these in my first few months with the group and was so well prepared that I was able to organize our annual Katutura Career Fair three times in a row as well as educational trips and annual conferences twice. I am currently the events co-coordinator for the Windhoek Branch (main branch). I make sure that the events on our annual calendar happen.
The Anglican Church has been and still is playing a major role in the development of the group in which. I, with many other members, have benefited directly. On their behalf, I am so proud that we have such donors who really support and care for us. As a Young Achievers member with the help of your organization, we will continue making a difference to the lives of young people and make a positive impact.
In conclusion, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the members of the church who give their offerings every Sunday. Extending those funds out to our organization has really assisted so many young people and has greatly contributed in sustaining the organization's activities. May the almighty Lord continue to shower blessings upon each and every member of the Anglican Church Twente. We look forward to welcoming members of the Anglican Church to Namibia so that they can see the wonderful work that their funds have contributed to the success of our organization.
Joanne Noordink Foundation.
Joanne’s work focused our work on the support of children and our project was called “Joanne’s Children in Uganda”. However, as we extended our activities in the course of the years, we discovered that we needed a more formal basis for our activities, resulting in the Joanne Foundation.
The way the Joanne Foundation operates is characterized by keywords like: small, controllable, communicative, honest, reliable and transparent.
Our main objective is taking care of the children included in our program and to pay their tuition until the moment they have obtained a vocational certificate. This will enable them to find a job and become self-reliant. The foundation does not want the children to become dependent on its help, we support them until they are able to take care of themselves.
For more information consult the following link (joannefoundation.nl)
Feedback regarding our donation for 2016.
Medio 2016 kregen we het bericht dat de Anglican Church St. Mary een bijdrage wilde leveren aan het werk van de Joanne Foundation. Daar waren we erg blij mee en we denken een mooie bestemming gevonden te hebben voor het gedoneerde geld: een waterpomp in een van de dorpskernen van Ndegeya, Oeganda.
We willen nu graag verslag uitbrengen van de besteding van het door de Anglican Church St. Mary gedoneerde geld. More in detailed report .......