Sufficient drinking water continues to be a serious problem in many countries around the world. In an effort to alleviate this problem, the FESTAS foundation was recently founded on the island of Aruba. Following is an interview with the founder of this foundation, Dr. Filomeno Marchena.
Who is Filomeno A. Marchena?
Filomeno A. Marchena is the founder of FESTAS. He has more than 25 years of experience in seawater desalination for the production of drinking water. His expertise also encompasses the drinking water conditioning and drinking water quality with reference to both the physicochemical and bacteriological aspects. He holds an MSc-degree in the Chemical Engineering of the Delft University of Technology and a PhD-degree in Technology Sciences of the University of Twenty in the Netherlands.
He is also a guest lecturer and BSc- and MSc-graduating students support at the University of Curacao and the Focal Point of Aruba for the UNESCO International Hydrological Program for Latin America and the Caribbean.
His passion is research and education in Sustainable Water Technology and he has three international patents for innovative seawater desalination technologies.
What is FESTAS?
FESTAS is an education foundation in Aruba with the primary objective of generating and managing funds for the whole academic program of the UNESCO Sustainable Water Technology Chair at University of Curacao and for the development of water education program for pre-primary -, primary – and secondary schools in the Caribbean region. FESTAS will also develop agriculture projects to promote sustainable agriculture. The intention is also to establish a research facility in Aruba to support scientific research and academic science in the field of sustainable water technology and green agriculture and zero discharge wastewater treatment and reuse.
The strategy and commitment of FESTAS can be recognized in its mission statement, vision and slogan which are formulated as follows:
The Mission statement:
FESTAS is a trustworthy support and energetic propulsion to improve the Quality of life in especially Small Island Development States through excellent education, science and technological innovation toward green environmental protection and sustainable water cycle management.
FESTAS envisions globally recognition as an excellent strategic partner for education, science and development and application of innovative green sustainable technology providing solutions for goal-directed green environment protection and sustainable use of healthy water for all.
WE stand for Water Education toward Water Excellence
The education foundation FESTAS is established by Dr. Ir. Filomeno A. Marchena on December 3rd, 2013 in accordance with the Law of Aruba at the notary office of Mr. Dr. Ralph Elias Yarzagaray, civil-law notary of Aruba and is registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Aruba. The statutory legal information of FESTAS is as follows:
Name of the foundation : FESTAS
Address of the foundation : Savaneta 225-C, Savaneta
Statutory name : Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel
Statutory seat : Aruba
Foundation number : S1356 (Chamber of Commerce of Aruba)
Memorandum of foundation : December 03, 2013
What does the name FESTAS stands for?
FESTAS stands for “Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel” which means in the native language “Papiamento” of Aruba: “Foundation for Education and Science in Sustainable Water Technology”.
For whom is FESTAS?
FESTAS objective is to promote Sustainable Water education at all the schools and Sustainable Water Technology Science at all universities in the Caribbean Region to promote the production and distribution of healthy drinking water, optimal sanitation engineering and green sustainable agriculture for all in the “Small Island Development States “ (SIDS) in the Caribbean Region.
According to the preliminary information received from the Central Bureaus of Statistics and the Water Companies from the Dutch Caribbean Islands and the Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and fishery of Aruba a total of 75,441 direct beneficiaries can be estimated for FESTAS’ educational and scientific program. This includes about 67,583 pupils and 4,654 teachers at the pre-primary-, primary- and secondary schools and about 2550 active farmers and 184 operators and about 200 students in the Dutch Caribbean. The total amount of schools, colleges and universities is about 324.
The ultimate goal is to reach out to all pupils, students, teachers and farmers of the Caribbean and promote student culture diversity.
How is FESTAS funded?
The current marketing and funds strategy of FESTAS is primarily based on sending letters requesting donation to prospect companies, manufacturers, consultants in the global desalination and water management world and foundations supporting globally sustainable water and environmental solutions.
The prospected fund raising companies and agents are:
- Water Utilities Companies of the Dutch Caribbean.
- Global Desalination Manufacturing companies.
- Global Beverage companies.
- Global Water, environment education and scientific foundations.
- Global consultancy companies.
- Government of the Dutch Caribbean Islands.
- European Union funds.
- Banks of Aruba and the Caribbean Region.
Why should I sponsor FESTAS?
By sponsoring FESTAS every one can give a hand to solve the water shortage problem in the world by starting to increase the consciousness of the importance of healthy water, the conservation and sustainability of it and not to misuse the precious water already at the youngest age. Furthermore you can help FESTAS to reach its intended objective to comply with its driving force and passion which is primarily based on the statement of the United Nations as quoted:
“Problems of poverty are inextricably linked with those of water- its availability, its proximity, its quantity, and its quality. Improving access of poor people to water has the potential to make a major contribution towards poverty eradication”
(World Water Development Report of the United Nations)
Does FESTAS have a business plan?
FESTAS has developed a business plan for 2014-2019 programs with all necessary detailed information of the academic program of the UNESCO Chair Sustainable Water Technology, the education programs, scholarship and the research facility. The Business plan 2012-2019 is available on request.
Who are the current sponsors?
Already some local companies, utilities companies and beverage companies of abroad has committed and promised to support FESTAS, such as: CocaCola Aruba, Polytechnisch Ingenieursbureau N.V., PC-MAC Aruba N.V., Schlumberger Water Services, Inc., Seven Seas Water Corporation, Specialized System Integration (USA), Inc., Nativa Holding N.V., ACE Firm Engineering, EcoVision, C.A.R.S. Automall N.V., Utilities Aruba N.V., Brown Lawyers, Amast N.V., Rotary Club of Aruba.
How to sponsor FESTAS?
Those interested in sponsoring FESTAS can cantact the President of FESTAS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grants and donations can then be deposited on the current account of FESTAS:
Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel
Current account number: 62626904
Caribbean Mercantile Bank
SWIFT transfer number: CMBAAWAX
Caya G. F. (Betico) Croes # 53, PO Box 28
For transparency, all sponsors will receive a copy of the yearly financial statement of FESTAS which FESTAS is obliged to deliver to the Chamber of Commerce of Aruba after each financial year. On request the mandatory yearly evaluation report to UNESCO concerning the performance of the Chair will also be available on request to all sponsors.
How to contact FESTAS?
FESTAS can be contacted through the President by a letter or an email or by phone as indicated below:
Name : Dr. Ir. Filomeno A. Marchena, President of FESTAS
Telephone : + (297) 584 0520
Mobile : + (297) 594 5644