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Lisandra Martis: helping challenged persons recognise the potential of their skills

People tend to think that if you do not have a formal education with regards to your talent, skill or product, it is not of high value.

 Lisandra Martis


Short bio

I was born and raised in Curaçao, in the Dutch Caribbean. I am 52 years old. I own a company called Mazeli Consultants, whose main services include tax services, human resource services and management services, among others. I am a member of Amnesty International Curaçao, Toastmaster's International, and President of a Federation that takes care of the needs of 5000+ inhabitants in 8+ neighbourhoods.


Living in the Caribbean I did have not any experience with EPALE before this. I recently registered on the platform. Even though my country is not specifically mentioned in the list of countries, I registered under the Netherlands, since we are the Dutch Caribbean. I have been browsing the platform to get familiar with it. Having registered, I will now make the most of my membership, add to my knowledge and contribute to the community.

My Story

My experience as an adult educator is as a professional. However, the idea for the A.R.T.E. program that I designed stems from experiences from my civic social encounters.

Otrobanda is ONE of the areas of downtown Curaçao, that houses inhabitants of many different economic and social statuses. The foundation Federation Otrobanda is the point of reference between social /civic organisations of inhabitants in the neighbourhoods of Otrobanda and Government and NGOs. We record the needs of the inhabitants in the following areas: social development, infrastructural, safety, hygiene. That information is then organised and presented to the government and NGO entities. Together we plan the solutions and programs needed to accomplish this.

This exposure to people’s needs sparked the need to create programs or solutions that the current government or non-governmental entities do not offer. This is what inspired A.R.T.E. The target groups for upgrades and courses are adults with specific skills or a specific product that can be used to generate income for the person.


Attract existing government subsidised programs to the neighbourhood to give a variety of courses to the inhabitants who are facing financial hardship. These programs are free for the participants which encourages them to participate. These are provided by a third party. A.R.T.E. Helps teach and guide people to make the most of their skills to generate income for themselves. These are provided by my team through my company Mazeli Consultants. They are low-cost and sometimes free.


A.R.T.E. - Arte in papiamento means art. Usually, we use this word to describe paintings, sculptures etc., but in reality, an adaptation of this description for this program should be made to include the following: anything that is produced by someone, which can be used to generate income. Most of the time the financially challenged person with a specific talent or skill does not recognise the potential of their skill or product.

People tend to think that if you do not have a formal education with regards to your talent, skill or product, it is not of high value. Most of their art is the product of natural talent or self-taught skills, inherited skills or talent passed down from generation to generation. Just by changing the description of their group of talents or skills to ART, prompts a psychological change within the person. All art has value. After realising its value, the person is then ready to start to learn the rest of the skills needed to turn their art, into an economic asset.


In this program, the goal of the services which A.R.T.E. provides is to teach, compliment, upgrade or re-introduce the art and any other skills necessary to help the individual participate in the circular economy. An inventory assessment is carried out whereby the individual records where they are at in terms of the skills needed to be able to use their art as an income asset. Just because an individual is facing financial hardship does not necessarily mean they have not received a formal education. They might be in their current situation for a variety of reasons.

In conclusion, not all those who participate in A.R.T.E. are at the same level, therefore the recording of their needs is of utmost importance. All individuals are treated equally. Regardless of the entry-level, all participants with art can be formal or informal entrepreneurs.


So, what is A.R.T.E. ultimately about? It focuses on business-related legal, logistical information and business-related (entrepreneurial skills) for:

  • new or existing established entrepreneurs;
  • those who want to use their ART, and convert it into their own a business;
  • managing the income asset aspect even in an informal business setting.

Did you get inspired by this story? Let us know below in the comments and get the chance to win an EPALE unique gift!

5 users per month (May 2021 - January 2022) from those commenting on a 2021 Community Story will be picked at random and will receive a gift. Comments must be relevant and related to the topic to be eligible.

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