The MagkaSama Project was initially founded in 2003 then officially launched in 2007 by Max Dana, an artist, a designer, a writer, a philanthropist and a deeply committed citizen of the world (more info on her website). She has been a long-term supporter of NGOs and with she has been raising awareness on topics such as Human Rights, genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, conflict minerals and rape in Congo, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. She also personally conducts Art Workshops on Sama Kids Day, and works with children to encourage them to explore creativity, empathy and global citizenry through various art forms (painting, music, photography...). Max Dana's personal commitments also apply to her artistic and professional activities with a great interest in environment and sustainable development, social and solidarity economy.
Over the years, a community has been reunited under the Sama Fraternal Society. After more than a decade of activism and supported by a growing enthusiasm and a strong interest for her actions, Max (who started a student newspaper to cover the Tiananmen Square Massacre and Omar al-Bashir's coup in Sudan) decided to create what would later become the MagkaSama Project in 2003 during the war in Darfur to provide resources to people who wanted to spread information about the on-going genocide. Raise awareness and take action to bring social change; this is why the word 'magkasama' was chosen, it is a nod to the World of Sama Max created as an artist, but most of all it has an important meaning: it is being used in Tagalog (Malaysian, Indonesian) and means 'together'. We should always remember that together our individual actions add up to make a difference collectively; our motto, inspired by the coat of arms of Haiti, is: 'Stand Together, because Unity is strength'.
The MagkaSama Project was launched in 2006 and the inaugural action was in 2007 when Max started to work on her new Human Rights project. In December 2008, she launched the “60 Signers for the 60th Anniversary” Initiative to support the Every Human Has Rights Campaign (The Elders / CIVICUS) on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sixty people from the most important organizations in the world (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNESCO, Reporters without Borders, The Elders...), and also volunteers, aid workers, doctors, human rights lawyers, committed people; they all signed Max Dana’s artwork to show their support to Human Rights.
Since the beginnig, our goal is to connect people and promote human rights and freedom of speech. We organize events, discussions and live chats, to recommend must-read books, discuss recent news and events or plan meetings in support of a cause. Every member is invited to share their experience and participate in social networking because we think, more than ever, that exchanging ideas, explain and discuss is a key to a better, more comprehensive and long lasting commitment. Max Dana often says that tall oaks from little acorns grow; it is not only a proverb to us, we take it seriously and we, humbly, hope that our actions (yours and ours combined) will still continue to grow.
Thank you for supporting the MagkaSama Project and the Sama Fraternal Society for all these years and the next to come!