By Linda Reijnders
ORANJESTAD – Lukee Croes is director of foundation Ambiente Feliz, meaning Happy Ambiance, and this is a residential home for mentally challenged adults. Last Friday the press was invited to hear out on the achieved goals and new plans of this special place. Michelle alias Ms Canada, was present as contributor with her fundraising project. Students of the Key Club International School elaborated about their support to the foundation and their upcoming event.
Daniel Tecklenborg from CEDE Aruba (center for social development Aruba) and Brian Marchena, owner of Print Media, participated in the conference in their presence as support pillars for the foundation and Ms Canada Charities. “We are a club of people that have a heart for our residents, we are family to them during their stay here and we strive to help more in the future.” The foundation is proud to exist for 31 years already, says director Croes. She is grateful to the community of Aruba that always has been there to help out.
“A good example is the Key Club of the International School. The students have been coming here since a while to work as a volunteer. Now they will organize a Color Run at May 20 whereas all gathered funds will go to our foundation.” One of the students is happy to share that they feel good by reaching out. “It makes me happy inside to give the residents of Ambiente Feliz a happy moment. Last week we even danced with them and it was really fun.”
From the Inside Out Another big supporter of the foundation is Michelle Begin from Ottawa, Canada. She is a true loyal visitor of our Happy Island for 38 years already and not the standard tourist. Michelle alias Ms. Canada, has a heart for the people of Aruba. She dedicates her time here to raise funds for those who need support. “I love Aruba and its people and it is in my nature to help. Especially the older people, children and people
with disabilities need support and I am here to reach out.”
Her slogan is to keep Aruba beautiful from the inside out and by working together the job gets done, says Begin. By organizing a beach Volleyball Tournament Ms Canada raised the funds for several good causes in the island, among others AmbienteFeliz. Besides of this she organized a Silent Auction with the help of many local businesses and she sold raffle tickets. The prices of the raffle tickets were handed out at the Hard Rock Café last Saturday evening.
Tecklenborg, director of CEDE Aruba, explains that his organization promotes bringing together people and resources for sustainable development. In that light CEDE Aruba supports the initiatives of Ms Canada. In the fight against the socioeconomic and social problems in Aruba, they bring the target groups into contact with each other that can strengthen each other and whenever there is an opportunity for social and educational development.
Their goal is to contribute to a community where people of all ages and backgrounds can develop themselves. “We believe that sustainable development in the Aruban community is feasible.”