In the month of October, we celebrate the much awaited week of wearing a red ribbon, organized for more than 25 years already by Anti-drug foundation of Aruba, FADA. This was started by families of members of the DEA who investigated cases of drugs and illicit trafficking, among others.
Rulienne Arends, prevention worker at FADA explained that after four years of undercover investigations, one of the agents was captured and murdered. Their family came up with a way to remember this person, who made a lot of effort in the war against addiction. Their friends and family started wearing a red ribbon, and the action expanded and during the years, spread to other countries.
FADA joined this action more than 25 years ago, where they also wear the red ribbon. FADA has also been organizing for ten years already the famous “crazy dress” week, where the organizers of the red ribbon event choose a slogan, and various schools participate to create the winning slogan. This year’s slogan is “Celebrate Life, Live Drug Free”.
Arends also explained that many schools, teachers and students participate in this. During the years, families and companies are also participating. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, they weren’t sure how the campaign could go on; but many families still participated, and each year the activity is growing.
“If the kids understand why they are participating in the crazy dress week, we have to say that a few years ago FADA had an activity and we delivered this to primary schools, teachers received a book on what the crazy dress week and the red ribbon week are, so that they can explain it to the children”, Arends said.
Many children understand why they come to school with colorful socks or are allowed to come to school in their pajamas. And little by little this creates awareness in the community to understand the meaning behind this campaign.
Miosotis Tromp, a social worker at FADA, expressed that for many weeks already they are noting a lot of interest in the red ribbon week as well as the crazy dress week. The date for these activities will be from the 24th of October until the 28th of October. It will begin the first day with wearing a red article. On the 25th, wear pajamas or your favorite hero’s costume; on the 26th, wear colorful socks; on the 27th, there is the opportunity to do something creative with your hair; and the last day, the 28th of October, seeing as they are celebrating 10 years, each participant can create a positive slogan, that will be used the following year.
People who are interested in participating in these activities can go on the website www.fada.aw, where they can find the red ribbon banner. Click on it and fill in the form and upload your pictures to participate.
Because of Covid-19, the past two years the foundation was not able to hand out prizes, but this year, Tromp said that they are having a big celebration with the community. The goal is to create awareness in the community, but also to show support in a different, creative way. The foundation is handing out prizes in various categories. “If you feel like you want to participate in the crazy dress week, one day alone can make a difference, makes us very happy. If you have any questions, please contact us”, Tromp said.
This activity is open to anyone who wants to participate with creativity.