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Heck of a bargain

daily-herald-logoA very strong editorial in The Daily Heralds paper of October 28, 2016, referring to the “Unleashed Potential Group ready to better St. Maarten” article in this paper on the same date.

There’s an interesting story in today’s paper about the “Unleashed Potential Group” (UPG). It regards Windward Islands pre- and post-graduates in the Netherlands who want to help with the social-economic development “back home” and gain job experience free of charge.

The move followed a June workshop held by Unified St. Maarten Connection (USC) where some 30 participants showed enthusiasm and a willingness to contribute to their place of origin. Goals include providing incentives for more of the students abroad to return when they complete their education, which is currently a big problem that leads to brain drain.

The idea is for UPG’s multidisciplinary team to work on projects that benefit the community “to train our people and give back.” By removing the money barrier they want to take away all excuses for not seeking their input.

How it is all going to function remains to be seen, but Government and the private sector alike would do well not to ignore this commendable initiative by some of the island’s own “best and brightest.” Involving them more in shaping the future of the community they clearly still care about makes all the sense in the world.

Now here’s one thing the incoming Parliament and Council of Ministers can tackle immediately without worrying about major consequences for an already-tight budget. Sure, a few expenses may ultimately have to be covered, but being able to use the group’s acquired knowledge, skills and expertise at no direct cost seems like a heck of bargain.

Original editorial: https://thedailyherald.sx/editorial/61221-heck-of-a-bargain

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