President's Blog

22 Jun 2017 09:49 Age: 2 yrs

President's Blog: Three lessons and 42,500 euros from NVRD

Category: ISWA News, ISWA BLOG, CloseDumpsites


On Thursday May 18th, ISWA President Antonis Mavropoulos was invited to Maastricht, Netherlands to participate in the annual conference of ISWA's strongest National Members and was delivered with an incredible surprise at the end in the form of a donation to the ISWA Scholarshop Programme.


Here's his blog, reporting on the conference.

At the beginning of the conference, NVRD’s President Han Noten, also the mayor of Dalfsen Municipality, announced that NVRD will contribute to ISWA’s Scholarship Programme with 1,700 euros, and he delivered me (see the photo) the relevant check. I was not prepared at all for what was coming after. 


During the day, I participated in a lot of discussions about ISWA’s initiative to close the world’s biggest dumpsites, and I received many supportive comments for the ISWA Scholarship Program. It was during the lunch time, when I was informed that several NVRD members were keen to donate more money for the Scholarship Program. 


Even so, I was astonished when NVRD’s Director Olaf Prinsen, and my good friend Martin Goorhuis, NVRD’s Senior Policy Officer, announced me that the total amount of money that was raised in just 4 hours by NVRD members was 25 times the initial one, which means 42,500 euros!

I want to express my deep gratefulness to NVRD and its members for their generosity and the substantial support they provided to the children in Managua. I ensure them that their money will be 100% utilized to trade trash for education, to bring proper food, clothing, and quality education to 43 children, for one more year. 


I am also thankful for the answers I received when, during the gala dinner, I asked several members to explain what were the reasons for such an enormous response of the NVRD membership. I realized three key-points, I guess that they are worthy for all of us.


First, NVRD members contributed so generously to the ISWA Scholarship Program because they were informed and asked for contributions. NVRD’s leadership not only incorporated the ISWA Scholarship Program to its communication, but it also paved the way by starting the donation round at the beginning of the conference. You can call it leadership by example!


Second, I understood that, for many members, donations are very meaningful because they are linked with a tangible result. By diverting children from the dumpsite in Managua to schools, you do not just speak about change – you make it happen!


Third, almost everyone I discussed in the conference considered that the ISWA Scholarship program is the best starting point for addressing the necessity and the urgency to close the world’s biggest dumpsites.


The NVRD President concluded “This is a great example how involved the Dutch waste management sector is. I call on other countries to follow our example and do the same. It’s a small effort but the impact is tremendous, it changes the future of many children for the better. If other ISWA members would do the same the impact will be much, much bigger!” 


So, thank you very much NVRD members. Your contribution highlights that ISWA members are ready to support real change in practice.  Now, let’s work hard to deliver...