SPIOR is the acronym for the Platform for Islamic Organisations in Rijnmond (Dutch: Stichting Platform Islamitische Organisaties Rijnmond) and is the Islamic umbrella organisation in Rotterdam and neighbouring towns, in the Netherlands. Most of the mosques in Rotterdam are members, as well as many socio-cultural organisations, youth and women’s organisations. At present, SPIOR has a total of 68 member organisations, that all share the Islamic identity, the connection to the region, and the aim to make a contribution to society. Muslims in the member organisations represent no less than twelve different cultural origins (Turkish, Moroccan, Pakistani, Afghani, Somalian, Surinamese, Indonesian, Bosnian, Palestinian, Algerian, Tunisian and Dutch). SPIOR’s work is inspired by the Islamic identity and is socially oriented, on different issues at the crossroads of Muslims and Islam in Dutch society. These include, among others, the fields of education, anti-discrimination, youth, employment and women’s empowerment. Since 1988, SPIOR has been working to improve the participation of Muslims in the Netherlands, although we certainly do not exclude others in our activities. On the contrary, we aim to connect people, groups and organisations to contribute to the realisation of shared values, common ground and joint activities.
To give an impression, in 2015 SPIOR’s activities include, among others:
- ‘Women and peace’: a project to promote peacebuilding and peace education among the Afghani, Pakistani, Somalian and Moroccan communities, both here and in the countries of origin
- ‘Old age comes with questions’: a project to support elderly (Muslim) migrants who are confronted with loneliness, social isolation and declining health, in their questions about life and meaning, to break through isolation and promote their wellbeing
- ‘Rotterdam’s got talent!’: a project to support young people who have dropped out of school prematurely or who are at risk to do so, in the process of (getting back to school and) getting a diploma and a successful start in the job market
- ‘Islamophobia in sight’: a project to tackle underreporting and underregistration of Islamophobia, mostly by raising awareness among Muslim communities
- ‘Be a man!’: a training for young Muslims about respecting others’ and their own boundaries in relationships and sexuality
- ‘Living together in words and actions’: activities for youngsters from different cultural and religious origins to learn about different parts of shared history and shared values and to work on joint action for vulnerable groups in our society, partly on the occasion of different days of commemoration like the commemoration of World War II and the abolition of slavery
- ‘Stronger together against discrimination’: peer-to-peer education for youngsters about discrimination, raising awareness about discriminatory behavior, both others’ and their own, and promoting resilience to act against it
- Strengthening resilience against radicalisation: a training for community leaders to work against radicalisation, both with youngsters and parents within Muslim communities
Next to these and other activities, SPIOR has an intermediary role on behalf of the Muslim communities in the region towards (local) government, several institutions, media and others about a wide range of issues affecting Muslims in society, and vice versa.
The member organisations each have a vote within the Board of Supervision. SPIOR has a Board of Trustees of 6 members and a professional staff of 8 people at present. Much of the work is done by volunteers. SPIOR’s work is funded mostly by contributions of charitable funds, partly by (local or national) government grants and by private donations, including those of the member organisations.
If you would like to have more information about our organization and our work and/or if you see opportunities to cooperate in any way, please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0031-10-4666989.