Sustainability maintained nationally

I wrote about MinEdu just in time, the day the useless members of the opposition party decided to enter a motion of non-confidence, calling for his resignation and/or replacement.

That same day my blog was met with much support, and I was happy about the timing.  

MinEdu is working on making our education system more efficient which is a good thing.

And we should get out of his way.

All the peripheral disgruntled voices are the proof that he is moving mountains, and getting somewhere. And in light of the MinPres declaration that 60% of kids were not getting an education during CoVid19, we welcome the reopening of schools, and pray for the best.

Good luck teaching kids to social distance.  

So, education is improving, BUT, the opportunity for improvement here is much larger.

We spend 5 million florins a day to keep GOA running, but somehow there are many families and kids who live near or in poverty. This while we spend 5 million florins a day on the public sector.

Last week I drove around the Seroe Patrichi government housing project with Ajudo na Aruba, handing out boxes of basic groceries to people on the list.

Ajudo na Aruba has been operating since mid-March, and is supported by the local community via donations in cash and in products. They are incredibly organized, moving around the neighborhoods armed with excel sheets with addresses and distributing aid in uniformed teams.

They go out every Monday & Tuesday to the barrios with lists of poor households and deliver customizes boxes, adult diapers here, baby formula there; they know, they have been doing it for weeks.

I visited a shack where an 18-year-old twin was taking care of his handicapped wheel-chair bound brother. Thank you for the adult diapers.

A hovel housing a woman with a new born and two toddlers, she worked at a snack bar before, is proud of her firma libre, and hopeful to find employment again. The five-year-old helped carry two lunch boxes home as if they were gold.

A man who has been here for 13 years, working in construction, told me one more box please, next week, after that he will no longer need it, because he will be working, he announced with a broad grin. I wanted to hug him. He was so gracious and well-spoken.

They say that a country’s level of civility is judged by how it treats its elderly, sick and poor.

And I have been talking about the poor this whole week. What is keeping us from providing the poor with honorable housing, work and income?

Seroe Patrichi is a neglected compound. Where is the neighborhood organizer? Where is the playground?

Why can’t we provide the kids I saw hanging idle in front yards a proper education to break the cycle of poverty?

Why don’t we focus on raising the sustainable wellness of our people?

It should be the sole goal of our collective effort. 

It will prevent higher corrective medical expenses, corrective judicial expenses, lost opportunities for employers/employees and most of all wasted efforts on wrong solutions.

We need to strengthen Aruba by supporting the weakest link in the chain. It really does not cost that much. Not more than we are already paying for a defunct, oversize GOA apparatus.

Why hasn’t it happened before?

With our local political system flip flopping and reversing whatever the previous GOA set up we could hardly ever avoid severe waste of inertia and investments made in the name of sustainability. 

Since up till this covid19 reset there was zero effective oversight and no real corrective action, we were set up for failure from the birth of Status Aparte.

It is an expensive lesson; more than 10 billion hard-earned dollars have been wasted by our dysfunctional, corrupt and inept country management. Not just on political agendas but more often by private agendas behind these political ones.

This loss could have been put to productive use, educating our citizens, digitizing GOA, advancing education, improving community service, all paid for by top of the line tourist services.

Why does nobody here complain about this lost opportunity caused be the system we ourselves put and kept in place? Why is it that only Knops sees it?

At times i wonder whether we could ever have a sustainable economy here in Aruba. Keeping in mind that sustainability means a long term motion maintained nationally.

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May 29, 2020
Rona Coster