CEDE Aruba, together with the Aruba Timeshare Association and endorsed by the Aruba Tourism Authority launched the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE, Aruba’s Visitor Charity Program, a new platform for all visitors who would like to make a donation to good causes in Aruba. The priority is set to support projects for the Aruban youth. Visitors can make a donation thru website of the project, or they can donate by using the first digital donation kiosk in the Caribbean, which is available in several timeshare hotel lobby. In addition, some Resorts will offer the possibility to make a donation at the checkout.

Millions of people around the world love Aruba, the ONE HAPPY ISLAND and the home away from home! Tourism in Aruba has been growing many years and is performing very well. However, tourism also brings challenges to small islands such as Aruba. About 6 of 10 youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 are alone or without adult supervision after school time. In most cases because their parents are working. In addition, many of Aruba’s youngsters do not travel often and experience boredom and lack of activities during school vacations. Furthermore, 4 out of 10 Aruban youngsters do not finish secondary school. This is a very big issue for Aruba’s future economy and the tourism industry.

The above mentioned challenges are the reason that CEDE Aruba and the Aruba Timeshare Association ATSA signed a cooperation agreement. While CEDE Aruba will manage the donations and select the youth projects that will supported, ATSA will motivate and support members to enter in the program.

Where will the donations go? A recent investigation conducted by CEDE Aruba and ATHA, a local association of youth organizations, shows that more than 60% of Aruba’s youth is asking for afterschool programs, aiming at sports, cooking classes, art programs and a safe place to hang out with friends. More than 50 non-profit organizations are motivated to contribute to a national afterschool program. Donations to the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE will help us to start and support after school programs with a focus on time for homework and diverse, meaningful activities. In addition, donations will support mentorship activities during school vacation and support projects aiming at youth at risk. Last but not least, donations will also support projects that reduce the amounts of school dropouts and create new opportunities for youngsters to integrate back in education and to find a career in one of Aruba’s countless companies.

The HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE has a message to Aruba visitors: ONE HAPPY ISLAND – ONE ACT OF KINDNESS. Get engaged, inspired and connected with our local community. Let’s build a bridge between community organizations and the tourism industry. Help us to keep Aruba’s youth happy.

For more information, please visit or send us an e-mail at [email protected]. Local companies that would like to help us reach visitors can give us a call at CEDE Aruba, phone 582-7666 and ask for Mrs. Kimberly Mathilda, the project coordinator of the HAPPY COMMUNITY INITIATIVE.