PHILIPSBURG/UTRECHT — Every year the Oranje Fonds in the Netherlands hosts the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ (Apples of Orange) award, highlighting NGO-work and their accomplishments, throughout the whole Kingdom. This year’s theme focussed on ‘Mental Strength’, one that truly applies to the islands and the resilience of the population.
Usually the semi-finals for the Dutch Caribbean nominees takes place on the islands, but this year, due to the pandemic, it was combined with the semi-finals of the Netherlands with a full day digital zoom pitch and award ceremony, on the 28th of January. A total of 48 NGOs were pre-selected, from 233 applicants, to move on to the semi-finals, 40 from the Netherlands and 8 from the islands (4 from Curaꞔao, 2 from Aruba, 1 from Sint Maarten, and 1 from Saba).
These 48 NGOs presented their projects, with great success! It was a very hard decision making process, but in the end 2 from the islands moved on to the finals, together with 10 from the Netherlands. The lucky semi-finalists were all awarded €1.500,00 to benefit their projects as well. The 2 going forward from the islands are ‘Stichting Equine’ from Curaꞔao with their ‘Equine’ project, and Expertise Center Education Care (EC2) from Saba with their ‘Ways to Wellness’ project. Player Development from Sint Maarten sadly did not make it past the semi-finals with their ‘Caring Table’ project, but was very popular during the voting process.
In April, the finalists will vie for 1 of the 3 ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ prizes, which includes a €15.000,00 cash prize and a bronze ‘Appeltjes’ statue designed and created by Princess Beatrix, which is to be presented in June by her Majesty Queen Maxima, at Palace Noordeinde.
Fleur Hermanides, the local project coordinator for the Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben (SFC) for Sint Maarten, Saba and Statia, of whom the Oranje Fonds is a part of, would like to congratulate all semi- and finalists on a job well done. This award is a true recognition of all the hard work NGOs do on the islands, especially in times where it has been very hard to find adequate support to tend to the needs of their specific target groups.
If someone is interested in learning more about these initiatives or the opportunities Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben has to offer NGOs, please visit:
More on the ‘Appeltjes van Oranje’ award and the finalists can be read here: https://www.oranjefonds.nl/