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 is a long-term supporter of NGOs and she has been actively raising awareness on topics such as Human Rights, genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, conflict minerals and rape in Congo (DRC), supporting 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 in 2003 what would later become the MagkaSama Project. During the war in Darfur (Sudan) she started a Newsletter, gathering information from a variety of sources about the on-going genocide to inform and communicate information to the press and the general public about the terrible situation. 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 charged with history coat of arms of Haiti, is: 'Stand Together, because Unity is strength'.
The inaugural action of The MagkaSama Project was in 2007 when Max started to work on her new Human Rights project. In 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, UNICEF, UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, Reporters without Borders, OMCT, UNESCO...), to volunteers and individuals supporting organizations, as well as committed people (aid workers, doctors, human rights lawyers...). She also met with the 30 winners of the Internews Every Human Has Rights Media Awards. They all enthusiastically supported Max's initiative and signed the original artwork she created to honor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Since the beginning, our goal is to promote human rights by engaging and connecting communities. We organize online discussions on recent news and live chats on must-read books. We also organize events (screenings, rallies,...). 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!