CEDE Aruba launches Unique Neighborhoods program

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Last weekend, CEDE Aruba had a meeting between neighborhood centers and organizations, foundations and government departments. After signing an agreement with the government of Aruba to receive additional funds for work in the neighborhoods and after signing the MoU with all neighborhood centers and organizations, CEDE Aruba brought more partners together for a presentation of the Unique Neighborhoods (Barionan Unico) program, and to give all organizations the opportunity to present their ideas and contributions.

A total of 50 organizations took part in this event.

The first part of the encounter was a presentation given by the director of CEDE Aruba, Mr. Daniel Tecklenborg. He explained that CEDE Aruba based on the feedback of many organizations expanded its role in the community. In the past, CEDE Aruba was seen as funds to finance and co-finance projects together with funds from the Netherlands. But recently they do much more than this; among other things, they organize training to elevate the capacity of the organizations, bring organizations together to plan and work together, initiates programs and projects and also lobbies for development in different areas.

This way CEDE Aruba became a catalyst for development in our community.
Relevant topics for the following years are:
1. Empowering the citizen and community initiatives;

2. Prevention programs in our community;

3. Support for vulnerable groups;

4. Support for organizations to become stronger and closer to the necessities in the community.

With the program Unique Neighborhoods, CEDE Aruba will facilitate a very diverse platform for organization and will stimulate collaboration. The point of departure will be that the neighborhoods face all sorts of challenges: social, education, cultural, sports, economic, infrastructure, etc. To arrive at solutions, all these different actors must work together more structurally. This is why the word Unique refers to union, collaboration and the unique part of each neighborhood, but also each initiative and organization.

In practice, CEDE Aruba will increase operational funds for the selected neighborhood organizations, will give additional funds for projects of foundations in the neighborhood, will provide a small budget to neighborhood initiatives that have plans to improve their neighborhood and will create a media program to empower and motivate families and neighborhoods to take positive action.

Aside from this, it will give guidance and support to organizations in the neighborhood, depending on their needs. It will stimulate growth of more programs and specific projects for groups in risk, like school drop-outs, seniors in loneliness, and people with limitations who no longer participate anywhere. In an ideal case, the programs will be adapted to the needs of each neighborhood.

After a presentation with a lot of information, each of the 50 organizations present was divided into ten groups, and in the form of a carousel, was given the opportunity to present their ideas and contributions. This part was guided by other colleagues of CEDE Aruba. During this activity the event became very energetic and interactive. In the end, each group shared its feelings regarding the group work and the program, and it can be concluded that the event and the process was positive.

CEDE Aruba and the neighborhood organization thanked each foundation and government department that actively participated. They will now work on a report of all the ideas and distribute this back to each organization. In the following weeks they are searching for additional personnel for the neighborhood centers and organizations in order to improve capacity to execute programs and projects. CEDE Aruba is also forming a small team to provide leadership to the program and the necessary support to all organizations.