Novib changes name to Oxfam Novib

Published: 20 March 2006

After fifty years Novib will, as of Saturday 18 March, have a new name that fits its international approach. Novib changed to Oxfam Novib at 11.15am. Simon Jelsma, the founder of Novib in 1956, David Bryer, the Chairman of Oxfam International, Jacqueline Govaert from the band Krezip, current ambassador of the Novib education campaigns, and Giel Beelen, 3FM DJ and sympathizer, jointly gave the go-ahead at presenter Caroline Tensen's signal.

On the same day the new campaign starts: "Oxfam Novib. Just world. Without Poverty." In this campaign, well-known cabaret artists explain little by little that, according to Oxfam, everyone is entitled to food, health and education, a safe environment, their own opinion and their own identity.

Oxfam Novib is and will remain an independent organization, rooted in the Netherlands. Twelve independent Oxfams are collaborating, dedicating their efforts to the five basic rights of people throughout the world: the right to an honest income, to drinking water, to healthcare and education, to safety and to one's own opinion, for women and minorities too. Cooperation takes place in development projects, emergency aid and campaigns that bring a just world without poverty closer.

As early as 1994 Novib became an independent member of the Oxfam family, a group that currently numbers twelve independent organizations that cooperate within Oxfam International from a shared vision and shared objectives. Oxfam Novib reaches around 35 million people annually with projects thanks to its network of 850 local partner organizations and alliances. Together with all Oxfams, some 70 million people are reached through 3,000 large and small partnerships, with campaigns and projects relating to trade, micro financing, education, healthcare, participation and development.

Novib is extremely well known in the Netherlands. Outside the Netherlands, the internationally-recognized Oxfam name opens new doors. Thanks to this collaboration Oxfam Novib's response to emergency situations can take place with increased speed and with better effect, and it is more able to fight poverty in certain countries. Additionally, as a member of Oxfam International, the organization has significantly more influence with campaigns on global issues that reach people as far as the smallest villages, such as AIDS medicines, child labor and availability of education, unfair trade regulations and poor working conditions.

Oxfam Novib's approach has been, from the outset, based on the principle that fighting poverty can succeed if governments, companies and individuals are involved in that fight through strong campaigns. An important point of departure is that local organizations have the best understanding of the local requirements and skills.

That is why, for example, Oxfam Novib does not give people fish but provides them with a fishing rod, and at the same time presses, with all Oxfams, for international regulations so that the seas are not fished out by enormous trawlers – and that something is left to catch for those fishermen who operate on a small scale.

The new name, however, does herald small changes to the approach. In 2003 Novib started increasing the capacity of its partners, so that they carry out humanitarian aid and rehabilitation programs according to international quality standards. In order to be able to assist the local and regional partners better, to follow developments better and to be able to react more quickly and efficiently to crisis situations, Oxfam Novib will aim for more temporary residence of its people in the field for the time being.

The combination of specialisms, regions and areas for special attention within Oxfam International is also starting to bear fruit. Oxfam Great Britain, which specializes in crisis aid such as clean drinking water and tents, worked with permanent partner relations of Oxfam Novib in 2005. Oxfam Novib helped with the coordination and expects to become involved in emergency aid more often in the future.

The festival during which the name change took place was established thanks to the generous cooperation of the artists, the suppliers, ABN AMRO and the National Postcode Lottery. Terschellings Oerol, MundialProductions, Redhouse Music and ID&T took care of programming with thirty live acts.

Contact Information

For more information, graphic material and interviews, please contact:
Loes Visser, Oxfam Novib press officer on +31 70-342 1720 or +31 6 17 40 46 46