Dreams in Africa (DiA) is a foundation that was founded in September 2010 by Noor van Hout, after having lived and worked in Africa twice (South Africa in 2007, Ghana in 2009). Africa, and the experiences that Noor has had there, have become an important part of her life. The people in the underdeveloped rural communities showed her that there is always hope, strength and faith even though the situation seems sad, painful and without any future perspective at times. For these reasons, Noor decided not only to contribute herself but also to making other people aware of the needs in developing countries in Africa. The underlying idea is that when you stand together, you accomplish more. Noor would like to encourage people so that they will contribute for a better future for the most needy and vulnerable, especially women and children. This can happen by getting involved with The Dreams in Africa Foundation and by participating in one of the programs.
Motto: “Dream BIG, aim high and live your dream!”
Everybody has the right to dream, live his or her dream and try to make their dream a reality. Noor believes that when you have dreams, there is hope for a better future!
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The board of management:
Noor van Hout Chairperson
Bart Vergeer Treasurer
Nellie van der Kroon Secretary
Matthise Gosselink Board member (Sponsoring)
Lize Mast Board member (Public Relations)
Laurens Steenbekkers Board member (Sponsoring/Policy)
The main aim of The Dreams in Africa Foundation is to support local development projects and initiatives.
Means and activities
This aim can be achieved by increasing the self-sustainability and independence of the population. This can be done in the following ways:
- To support and improve educationand give information and trainingabout important subjects (like medical training, HIV/Aids awareness, social skills and self-image, information communications technologies (ICT), agriculture, finance etc.);
- To give out micro credits (loans) and scholarships;
- To initiate and support sport eventsand income-generating projects.
The income-generating projects are mainly focused on local entrepreneurship. This means that these projects need leadership from the local people; and that local products are made and produced for personal or community use so that the people can be self sufficient.
These products are sold in the local, national, and international market. This includes agriculture products generated from farmland, vegetable gardens, farm animals, bakery and jewelry and crafts made by local craftsmanship and trades (like pottery, glass beads /-necklaces, bracelets, oil lamps, traditionally woven fabrics, etc.).
Development work helps, when you take some important requirements into account:
- Working together with the local people on location is possible when you maintain certain ideas such as the accessibility of the target group and the availability of local workers, with whom we cooperate with on location. Further, the local initiative (project) is started on a small scale basis so that it can be determined that the goal is workable. We keep in mind when the development project runs well, expansion can happen little by little.
- Consistency, sustainability, and empowerment are important keywords in our work. We wish to empower the local people (the community) so they can become self-sufficient and independent. With help in education, training, and schooling, this is possible. This is much easier said than done because we have to take into account the people’s way of thinking, educational level and background, local traditions, habits and values.
- It is only when the local and traditional culture is taken into account that sustainability can become reality. We ask questions when needed. It is necessary to adapt to the needs and capabilities of the people constantly, so that you may monitor your methods to fit the request of the people. The initiative does not only have to come from locals but also working actively together with them is an important requirement.
- Normally, the western influence is only temporary. The initiative should be active in the local community. Ideally, a local person should be in charge, take responsibility and direct the project. If this is not the case, the project will be watched and then transferred to the active local party. It is very important during this watching period to keep direct communication possible between the parties as well as on a national and international level. After all, the goal is to establish an independently functioning local development project.
Keywords: on small scale, empowerment, sustainability, consistency, self-sufficient, support, education, training, information transfer, local community, cooperation, monitoring, direct communication, transfer, development project.