The vfonds (National Fund for Peace, Freedom and Veteran Care) is an important main partner of WPFG, primarily due to their common goal: both WPFG and vfonds aim to achieve greater recognition and appreciation of uniformed personnel in public service.
A little piece of history
Not everyone is familiar with the objective of the vfonds, so let’s go back in history first. It stems back to shortly after the Second World War, when two Dutch soldiers with eye injuries were undergoing rehabilitation treatment. They founded the Union of Dutch Military War and Service Victims (BNMO). In 1970, the then-chairman of the BNMO and others founded the Giroloterij, which was later converted to the BankGiro Lottery and provided the necessary funds. A foundation created especially for this purpose, operating since 2007 under the name vfonds, organized distribution of the funds among the BNMO and other veteran organizations.
Funding of the vfonds
The vfonds is funded by the national lotteries. Traditionally, the fund has been the main financier of the BNMO. It was not just an association for advocacy and peer contact; there was also a branch for professional services such as social work and after-care programs. A large part of vfonds’s budget went towards this primary care function. After the Ministry of Defense took over the financing of this in 2011, there was room for the vfonds to spend the budget that was released on other activities and new fields of work.
Increase recognition and appreciation
One of the objectives of the vfonds is to increase recognition and appreciation of veterans and other uniformed personnel in public service. In addition, the aim is to keep alive the memory of war and peacekeeping missions, to remember and commemorate the victims of conflicts and to celebrate freedom. All with a view to preserving peace, democracy, and the rule of law, and promoting the international rule of law.
By providing information, education and publicity, vfonds aims to win respect and appreciation from society for veterans and other uniformed personnel who have been involved in international peacekeeping operations in the service of the Dutch government, anywhere in the world. In order to keep the memory of the Second World War alive, the vfonds also supports war and resistance museums, and remembrance centers. In addition to being commemorated, it’s particularly important that liberation, freedom and peace are also celebrated and secured. This can be seen, for instance, in support for a number of Dutch Remembrance Day projects on 4 May and the liberation festivals held throughout the country on 5 May. Partnerships and collaborations with other organizations are always expressly sought out in order to achieve the mission.
Tattoo, Invictus Games and WPFG
The vfonds website shows which organizations are financed and which partnerships they are involved in. In 2019 and 2020, the focus of the vfonds and its partners is on ‘75 years of freedom’. Recognizable events are the annual national tattoo, which is organized every year in Rotterdam Ahoy, the international Invictus Games in The Hague in 2020 and of course the World Police & Fire Games, which will be held in Rotterdam in 2021.
Collaboration between vfonds and WPFG
The collaboration with the vfonds is expressed in various ways. Mentioning the vfonds’ name on the WPFG communications is only one of these, and in 2021 the partnership will be communicated further. During the traditional remembrance service, for example, there is close cooperation with the Ministry of Defense. Veterans will be explicitly involved in this ‘memorial’, where we will pause to remember those whom we have lost. Not only police and fire-fighters who died, but all those who lost their lives in the name of peace and security. In the coming months, more possibilities will be worked out in consultation with the vfonds.