PHILIPSBURG:—- For the first time ever have Sint Maarten and Saba gone through to the finals of the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ (Apples of Orange) prize, hosted by the Oranje Fonds in the Netherlands. After making an initial selection of the 34 Dutch Caribbean initiatives entered for the ‘Appeltjes’ prize with the theme ‘Empowering Vulnerable Youth’, 11 were pre-selected to go to Curacao for the semi-finals. Of these top 11, the top 2 were selected to move on to the finals in the Netherlands in May 2017. This selection also included a check worth 2.500,00 euros for both the initiatives. The lucky winners were K1 Britannia from Sint Maarten and Child Focus from Saba.
Fleur Hermanides, the local project coordinator for Samenwerkende Fondsen, was very proud and humbled to see initiatives from the SSS-islands making their way to the top, getting recognized for all the great things they do for the community, and in this case specifically, the vulnerable youth. There are many great initiatives on the islands and this is a great opportunity for everyone to showcase what wonderful results they have achieved thus far. Without such wonderful organizations and initiatives, we would not have come as far as we have. There is still a lot to be achieved, but little by little, with such well-intentioned persons in the community, we can come a long way.
In the Netherlands they are still narrowing down from their top 40 to their top 8 with a potential wild card. This will be made known in January 2017. These will then join the top 2 from the Dutch Caribbean to vie for the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ prize, which includes a 15.000,00 euro cash prize and a bronze ‘Appeltjes’ statue designed by Princess Beatrix. The prizes will also be handed over by the Honourable King and Queen themselves, a great honour in itself.
The Oranje Fonds, which is one of the 5 funding agencies forming the ‘Samenwerkende Fondsen/Cooperating Foundations’, has a history of supporting social initiatives in the Netherlands and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The past year alone € 31 million has been invested in supporting initiatives that allow for people to meet each other, feel less of a sense of loneliness, understand each other and make an effort for one another. The Oranje Fonds is sponsored by, amongst others, the Nationale Postcode Loterij, De Lotto, as well as by friends and businesses. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have been the official patrons of the Oranje Fonds since its inception.
Ronald van der Giessen, director of the Oranje Fonds, explains: “Every child deserves the same opportunities in life. However, due to factors such as a hard family situation or a language deficiency, children sometimes have a difficult start. The initiatives that help them to prosper in life are invaluable. The ‘Appetjes van Oranje’ have been initiated to recognize the initiatives that are successful in their approach, help these children with their development and make a difference in their lives.”
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Source: St. Martin News Network
‘Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben’ (Cooperating Foundations for the Dutch Caribbean) congratulates the Dutch Caribbean finalists for the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ (Apples of Orange).