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Teaching pack: The History of Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet

In just four short lessons, The Netherlands Is Getting Better Foundation (Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter) looks at the legends surrounding Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) and the history of the Sinterklaas celebration. The history of the creation of Zwarte Piet  (‘Black Pete’), caricatures in general, and the issues with the Zwarte Piet character are also discussed here.

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May 3rd: Day of Empathy

The Day of Empathy is meant to create more understanding for and awareness of cultural and ethnic differences within Dutch society. By awakening people’s empathy, we hope to mend the growing gaps in society. This happens by means of a varied program including speakers, music, poetry, and art. 

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White′s Move

Many white people are not aware of the privileges that they enjoy due to the colour of their skin. In what way does ‘being white’ colour the way they think? While searching for answers, Sunny Bergman dissected the morals of white people in her documentary ‘Wit is ook een kleur’ (‘White is also a colour’). In response to her documentary, many white people contacted Sunny with the question: “What can I do?” Following on from this, she developed the platform ‘Wit aan zet’ (‘White’s move’) together with Jerry Afriyie.

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A celebration for every child

More and more schools are developing guidelines for an inclusive Sinterklaas celebration, but there are still many schools that struggle with how to shape the celebration. In order to help schools with this, we have developed a teaching tool that helps in discussing this important topic. This ensures a discourse in the school that can once more make Sinterklaas a great celebration for everyone, both big and little!

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Education toolkit Dutch history of slavery

An education toolkit about the history of slavery and its consequences for the countries involved, the people who were forced into slavery, and their descendants. As far as we are concerned, education is the way to increase historical awareness, and by extension mutual understanding.  

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Workshops for inclusive education

Together with the Amsterdam Public Library (OBA) and other partners, Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter organises ‘Workshops for Inclusive Education’. During the workshops, teachers are offered tools to approach diversity in the classroom with awareness. The workshops are applicable to the everyday challenges of primary education in a practical way.

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Zwarte Piet Is Racism Campaign

The aim of Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter is to turn the Sinterklaas celebration into an inclusive celebration for all inhabitants of the Netherlands. We strive to achieve this goal by creating awareness about the Zwarte Piet character and his role in the Sinterklaas celebration. Our ultimate goal is to make adjustments to this character. 

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