New playground in district Nieuw Amsterdam 

Photo credit – Ronald Zijlstra and Jantje Beton

KRALENDIJK – There is a new playground in sight in the district of Nieuw Amsterdam, Bonaire. Recently Fundashon Cas Bonairiano (FCB), the Ministry of VWS and Jantje Beton gave the starting signal to develop this new meeting place together with the local residents. The project must be completed in the spring of 2023.

Ben Oleana, director of FCB: “The idea for this place has been discussed for some time with Jantje Beton and the Ministry of VWS. Because now there is no place in the neighborhood where children can play carefree and neighbors can meet. They play on the street between the cars which is dangerous and causes inconvenience.”

Car traffic, street dogs and the lure of the screen

Miranda Verburg of Jantje Beton saw from up close during her visit to Bonaire how the island struggles with the health aspect: “The opportunities to play and exercise in their own environment are limited on Bonaire. While this is so important for a healthy development as a child.” Both children and adults mention that the neighborhood offers too little activities and too little play challenge. This results in children playing behind a screen at home out of boredom. 

Also, children depend on their parents to get around the neighborhood. Car traffic and street dogs are obstacles for children when playing outside. “That’s why it’s so important to have a sparkling play and meeting place where everyone can have fun and make sitting inside less of a natural thing to do. And we want nothing more than to put the wishes of the children and other residents at the center of this,” says Verburg.

More playgrounds 

Enough reasons for Abigail Norville, Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of VWS, to make the wish come true that in the coming years there will be many more places on Bonaire and the Dutch Caribbean where people can play and meet each other in a pleasant environment: “We are very happy that this beautiful, new playground will be built on Bonaire. Together with the other local parties we are working hard to realize many more playgrounds on the Dutch Caribbean. But first let’s get to work together in Nieuw Amsterdam!” 

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