About 200 concerned citizens gathered at Cas di Cultura to listen to 6 speakers during the Sustainable Tourism Symposium last weekend, many of them seniors concerned about development, fewer young people.
According to party leader Ursell Arends, the party’s next move is to gear up towards election, upcoming September 24th, 2021.
So what is the party’s strategy to recruit more young people, I asked.
Arends explained that the goal is to prepare 21 leaders within the next two years, in collaboration with the local Yamanota Toastmasters Club, they will be ready to join the party’s political list in 2021, and Aruba will have a choice of fresh leadership.
Another immediate goal is an education symposium. As it stands today our island’s education system doesn’t produce the desired future citizens we need. Today’s education system is based on results and not on personal development.
Our schools, Arends says, churn out demotivated graduates, who do not intend to work for the island’s main economic pillar, thus innovation in education is pivotal.
Some of that sentiment was also echoed in Jim Hepple’s presentation at the symposium, how schools now serve the teachers as a steady source of income and reliable employment, but the students are not being helped.
According to Hepple: “Our education system has to provide the opportunity to learn applied skills. We will need to provide superior service to be competitive. Our workforce needs to be highly trained. This is a key priority, ensuring that our workforce has high-quality applied skills, as line staffers, supervisors or managers. So our education providers must keep up with, and have knowledge of, modern and contemporary Tech.”
According to Arends, Raiz will also be reaching out and connecting with the community, by hosting a Bingo at Club Caiquetillo, on June 29th.
Overall, Arends was pleased with the results and the turn-out of the symposium.
When I asked how he defines the party, he said Raiz is a Social-Democratic-Progressive party which is important to keep in mind because by nature of being a Social Democracy we understand they support social justice and protection of minorities etc, within a liberal society, with a capitalist economy.
That is a mouthful.
The progressive indicates modernism and the embrace of science and technology to help society evolve and develop.
So far so good.
Arends reports that the party will soon also add ECO to its name, as in Eco-Social-Democratic-Progressive, recognizing and honoring that Nature has rights. This belief confirms that our ecosystems – including trees, oceans, animals, mountains – have rights just as human beings have rights. And Raiz will be helping pass the Rights of Nature legislation which will be revolutionary on its own.
While it is pro-healthcare for all, it will demand better control and a better oversight of expenses so we can get more bang for our buck.