Published On: Mon, Jan 29th, 2018

Morales says women and youth empowerment essential for a strong St. Maarten

Loekie Morales Emilio Wilson parkPhilipsburg – National Alliance candidate number 15, Lucrecia ‘Loekie’ Morales, who is of the opinion that the people of St. Maarten are #STRONG as little by little their small island developing state is bouncing back from the Irma devastation situation to an attitude of decisiveness, states that her vision is to create a stable and strong St. Maarten when it comes to its political and socio-economic realities.

“I see strengthening of our youth and women as focal points to rebuild the country.” Says Morales. “I believe that when these groups are strengthened with the right skills and trainings, guidance, they can become more independent in life; our whole community will be stronger.”

Morales says a mentally and physically healthy country starts with people doing the things in life they like to do and can do best. “Giving people the right training, create initiatives and draft policies (f.e. Vocational Education), depending on what labor market needs, will lower the tension on the labor market.” explains Morales, who is also an author of children’s books.

“The youth and women should be strengthening with enhancement of skills in the talents they possess already. “ Morales further elaborates. “Next to that we should encourage them with entrepreneurship trainings, and facilitate them with mentorship, apprenticeship, budgeting courses, parenting – meaning norms and values and etiquette training – and knowledge of the law, including human rights, labor laws, etcetera, so they can become more independent in life.”

“We need to stimulate and facilitate youth participation in international debates, workshops and conferences, so they can get the sense of being a world citizen and see their ‘island-realities’ in a wider perspective. Our youth should also be stimulated to participate in sports, athletics and Cultural & Arts events, to wider their horizon. “

“In our educational system we need to bring relevant norms and values (Etiquette trainings), which can work as community engagement and to prevent crime. We can strengthen our youth by involving them in programs for Tutoring, Counseling and Mentorship by qualified adults.”

“Sports participation should be compulsory in all levels of education and a part of our daily life. Honoring our top athletes and bringing awareness of sport development to St. Maarten will help to put sports and a healthy lifestyle more in the spotlights. At the same time the tertiary education opportunities via USM and NIPA should be improved and expanded, as well as establishing linguistic and culinary institutes or curriculum.”

“Realistic?” asks Morales, who is also the founder of the Beyond Kultura Events foundation.I think it is realistic to reach these goals. An important condition is ‘a strong political will’ that goes hand in hand with prioritizing these themes with the people of St. Maarten. This entails that a broad-based community involvement is needed. In collaboration with the designated NGO’s, the Regional Community-Organization’s – especially for the lessons learnt from the region – and the private sector.”

Morales concludes by stating that “Sint Maarten can become strong once again and the paradise it used to be for so many years.”