‘It is not about being bad, but about making bad choices. So take that second chance’

When entering the 15,000 square meter premises of Eliezer Foundation you feel you are visiting a Garden of Eden. The entrance is leading you to a farm with beautiful nature around it. There are animals, crops, green houses and a park. Four dedicated people, a handful, are working daily to help 15 men that lost their way during the walk in life. They are addicts to alcohol and/or drugs and live here to get detoxed and rehabilitated. The motivation behind this foundation is the strongest there can be: owner Gino Frans used to be an addict himself until God called him and took him out of that life. “The Lord freed him but also gave him a call to help others. That is how it all started”, says Monica Frans, Gino’s wife.

The clients start their day at 05.30 am with a prayer. They take a section from the Bible that makes them begin the day committed and positive. Then they have breakfast and start the job. All have a job description and responsibility. Vanessa Maduro, administrator and social helper, continues: “At noon we eat together, they sleep and at 3.30 pm there is a Bible study. This is the program from Mondays to Fridays, Saturdays they will visit their family. It is obligatory that the family picks them up and brings them back. If we are in doubt, we do tests when they come back to see if they are clean. If not, they start all over again, but with double weight.” That means that the 2- months of detox will be 4 months now. The detox period means no contact with society, no phone, no visits, nothing. “Before you start this program, we will give you a week to prepare yourself. That determines if you are really dedicated. You need to choose for this completely, otherwise it will not work”, Vanessa proceeds.

All over again

One of the clients, he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, says: “I was fed up with my life, I needed a change and if you have the will you can do it. It was hard in the beginning, but you get better along the way.” He feels home here, the program brings him a new start and being useful. “It is like a baby that learns crawling before walking, you have to do it all over again. I love to take care of the horses and donkeys, a horse of my own is my goal and maybe even my own ranch. I see a future.” He even is a leader now as he helps new clients and his persistence makes the others stronger. “I want to help, God sent me here.”

Blissful Bonding

Monica and Gino started with the Foundation Eliezer in the Netherlands, but Gino felt the need here in Aruba and thus they started in the streets of the island. “We had nothing but God’s believe and we approached the addicts, this was 2008/2009. Than we got to know an alcohol addict that offered us a big house because he loved what we did. Step by step the clients trusted us and more searched for us. One led to another and God always guided us. This location was a blessing. The Dutch owner Fred Wappenaar believes in us and offered us this terrain, we are unbelievably grateful. The connection with animals, a water mill, to be self-supportive, to teach the clients to cultivate and grow and care… it is all part of our vision. We are her since nine years now and next to Foundation Eliezer we founded the La Posada Care Farm.” The foundation does not let go easily, after the average of six months that clients stay they keep in touch and help them reintegrate into society. Monica: “But in the future we would like to hire them ourselves as employees of our hydroponics business. It is not easy to get hired by a company when you have a past like this, here at least we do not see that as a disadvantage. We believe in change.” The foundation cooperates with the Movimiento Misionero Mundial.

The ambition and drive of this foundation is heart-warming and one can only wish that there were more people like them to help those who do not see an outcome anymore. To fulfill their plans Monica and Gino welcome any help. Donations, construction materials, furniture, anything that is needed. You are most welcome to visit the Care Farm, and get a tour. “When you visit us here, you will feel the need. In almost every family there is an addict.”

If you would like to visit the foundation, please call +297 561 3792 and ask for Gino or Monica Frans. For more information visit the website: https://eliezer-fundacion.jimdo.com or Facebook: Eliezer Fundacion.