Influencer Maisy Scharbay
Interview March 2023
Could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born in Curaçao and have one older brother. I am single and I have no children. Both my parents are still alive and were very important to who I have become now. My mother was the head of a Kindergarten school and my father worked in the Human Resources of Landslaboratorium, now ADC. Both are now retired. I am a Godmother of 6 and a blessed aunt of a 6 year old nephew.I am proud to share that both of my parents were responsible for creating the safe environment where I grew up, and where I could sit for hours on the porch of our house and have long conversations on any subject matter. Since we were young. This is home whatever I went to when I came back this was home. I have lived in Holland for 11 years for my studies and worked there for some years. I could always call home at any time of the day on whatever subject matter. I could always have open communication and a trustworthy and safe environment, that was my home, my backbone, no matter what. I graduated as a Medical Secretariat and later on in Human Resources. As I worked in Holland got a lot of life experience, see and learned other cultures and part of the world, but I missed that family feeling of my home,. So I decided not to stay longer in Holland and I don’t regret coming back to work and, living in Curaçao, and neither regret living in Holland for 11 years. Holland has become my second home, as it thought me to mature and become more independent, standing on my own feet, and growing through the highs and lows of life.
Could you share something about your educational background and your experience?
After finishing my secondary education in Curaçao, I continue my studies in Holland.
I finished my secretary and management degree, follow by a medical secretary. After that, I did the study of Human Resource (Personeel en Arbeid).
Living in Holland I worked in different sectors to get experience on different levels. In Curaçao, I started to work at the rehabilitation center, which related to the medical part of my studies. This was a very unique experience, as it taught me how to deal with my own emotions and those of the patients. It made my very strong and believe in myself. o. And I am grateful for having experienced this as part of my own personal and professional growth. This experience is still very helpful in the work I am doing at this moment in the Red Cross.
We know you to be a coordinator of the Red Cross in Curaçao. How did you get involved in the Red Cross?
I did my internship at the Red Cross. Then I followed my career in the rehabilitation center.
But I remain in good contact with the Red Cross and they have always been in the back of my mind as a unique organization that fits my life’s vision as a humanitarian organization.
I was sure back then, that I hadn’t reached the top of my career yet.
I felt that I could achieve so much more in terms of my career. I wanted to do something significant for our community. So I applied for the vacancy at the Red Cross and was accepted and now it has become part of my life. It is not an “8 to 5”- type of job as it requires being available 24/7. It requires to “Walk the Talk” and live according to the 7 principles the Red Cross is based on. These principles have to be the principles your life is based on.
The 7 principles are:
- voluntary service
And they are what drives me every single day, leave my house and have the privilege to help another human being or help ease the suffering of other people.
Was it something that you longed for since you were a child?
If I look back, I would say, yes. At first, when I was a teenager, I wanted to become a social worker, and as I was doing some research on what this work would entail, I learned that social workers have to deal with the problems of different people every single day and that this, as I was a teenager, could sound as some sort of a burden. Fast forward to today, this moment, it was “never too late” as this has become part of the daily job now. I am a thousand paws, as my work I am a social worker, sister, a coach and a listening ear, without discriminating against people from any religion, race, or gender, simply because all of them are human beings. This person is important and at the center of my attention, so today I am doing part of what a social worker is doing.
How are you dealing with your emotions?
I have learned how to leave work related issues only at work. Within the Red Cross I could have attend different courses, that have helped me very much.
Since the Covid pandemic, you could see an increase in mental and emotional problems in general. For myself, it isn’t easy as my work is a daily confrontation with different people, poverty, migrants, different challenges and lots of emotions. Locally and internationally there are social safety nets, you can participate in that will help you deal with all the challenges that you have to deal with every day on the emotional level.
The advantage of living in Curaçao is that on the weekend, I love to go to Banda Bou (West part of the Island) and I try to have more me-time. All aimed to charge my battery and this helps to start all over again every beginning of the week.
We work with different local and international NGOs and we do have our specialized personal among ourselves when needed, we refer people to professionals like PSI and Slachtoffer Hulp, so that the vulnerable can get the required help.
What is the role of the Red Cross and is this an organization that is solely supported by volunteers?
The Red Cross Curaçao is an international organization, part of The Netherlands Red cross exists for 92 years now in Curaçao and we have our own status, a paid staff of 3 persons and 110 volunteers. We also have a youth department of about 30 youths between the ages of 12 to 18 years.
We welcome people from all walks of life, character, and belief systems in our organization. They are the corps, the backbone of the Red Cross. Without these volunteers, we couldn’t comply with our mission.. I can’t find enough words of appreciation, gratitude, and admiration for the work they are doing. When they leave their houses and family to work, they don’t get paid but their work is priceless and because of that, the sky is the limit. We assist in different social events like the Carnival, First Aid courses and Social Projects, but we were also involved in helping in disasters like e.g. hurricane Irma hit St. Martin, shipwrecks, earthquakes etc.
The Red Cross is a global humanitarian organization, the largest voluntary organization in the world. We prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Our purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being.
Is participation in the Red Cross a vocation?
Yes, I believe it to be a vocation. Although times are changing and not everybody is fit to do the work we require to be done. The world has become greedy. You need to have a real passion to do this work and be willing to do this voluntarily. You have to believe that together we can do so much more.. We are now working on sharing our more ample and vast experiences with the next younger generation, willing to dedicate their free time to this voluntary work. This is not easy. But there is hope and we have faith that this can be solved.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now?
I am a people person, that loves to help people so that they can help other people. I don’t talk too much, but my actions speak for themselves. It requires a balancing act to stay up to date on what is happening in society and talk to different walks of life in our society and read books, and meditate. As a young woman and a leading member of the Red Cross, it isn’t always easy. How do I stay on my course? I am a patient person, and that is the key to everything. I am dealing with different kinds of people and with patience and focus, I succeed with a great awareness of why I am where I am at this moment and why I am doing this work. There is no manual available to deal with the challenge we deal with every single day. It requires flexibility to adjust to the different challenges.
And with the different coursed I follow, this was of great help.
And why is it that you want to find ways and means to contribute to the development of Curaçao?
Within the Red Cross, with it’s 7 principles is the leading way to contribute to the development of Curaçao, together with NGO’s and local partners. And with the youth.
What are your plans for the coming years for the coming 5 years from now?
Within 5 years from now, I would like to continue with the fast development of the world together with the Red Cross Curaçao. As the Branch Manager develop project on Go Green, Global Warming, poverty, digitalization of the Branch, with direct access and contact with the International Red Cross.
Promote volunteerism and upgrading the Branch on International Level. Involving the youth in the Red Cross department and teache them what it means to give a helping hand. We have some that have continued their studies in Medicine and are now doctors or are studying to become doctors. It pays off to have them involved at an early age in volunteerism. Although most of them continue their study abroad. Also create within the Red Cross organization a safe environment for the members so they are well taken care of organization.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
Unfortunately, not everyone you meet is always sincere in their intentions. As human beings we are all unique, it is important to stay focus and always remember where you have come from. Also the poverty on the Island among the locals and the migrants.
The Red Cross develops projects abroad to try to help with all the requests and needs we encounter.
How do you deal with this?
I maintain my focus and my helicopter view. If somebody slanders me, that person slanders the whole organization. We are part of the Red Cross in Holland and part of the international Red Cross. I don’t act on emotions and I protect the organization.
Secondly, regarding the requests: study each of the cases individually based on criteria and priorities.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
I listen to my Inner Voice and I don’t try to get caught up in a discussion, it is a constant fight between what the heart and the mind are saying. I stay focused and this gives me peace of mind. And again, work by the 7 principles.
How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
The Red Cross itself offers different monthly training and workshops. At times, even one has to travel to attend a workshop. I do my utmost to attend the workshops and I keep on reading books, as this is part of your personal development. . I keep myself informed about what is happening in the society at large locally and internationally. As the Red Cross, we need to mingle in society, which is the best way to sense the real and true stories of our community. Weekly we meet with the other Red Cross branches in the Caribbean and the Netherlands, to discuss and share our experiences.
What are your strengths?
- Giving 100 % for what I stand for.
- Composure I am composed, and I don’t allow stress to overtake my self-control, even under the most difficult of situations, I try to stay in control.
- Open to receive advices
Do you have hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
I love to dance. I also love gardening and I could be working with my plants for hours, I love to cook. I love swimming as I see that as a sort of therapy. The trip to Banda Abou itself and its nature is so peaceful and relaxes me.
If you as Maisy would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in New York or Bogota Columbia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
I will introduce myself, that I am from Curaçao. That we have lots of beautiful stories and lovely people on the island of 160.000 people, we speak 4 languages, you are welcome to visit Curaçao and the local Red Cross. I will show you the Island.
How would you describe Maisy in one word or one sentence?
I am thought full.
Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
My colleague, mentor and my family.
What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
The balance between work and my personal life.
What was a defining moment in your life?
That would be May 2020, when our office in Suffisant burned out. We were in the middle of the Covid pandemic. We got involved in a big crisis within the Covid crisis. Some of our members were making food packages when the fire broke out. I was at our office at the Fokkerweg. As I arrived at the scene I saw some members doing heroic efforts to save some food packages, showing their determination to continue with their work, to help 12.000 families in need.
I still get goosebumps when I think back and talk about that moment. This made my appreciation for my colleagues rise way up and appreciate even more the type of work we do. This mindset is that despite the fire, they were thinking about the consequences for those who couldn’t eat the next day.
This was a highlight moment, and it made me even stronger in my determination to continue with the mission and vision of the biggest crisis I experience during my career. It increased my respect for the organization that I am part of, who we are, and what we stand for. The Red Cross is a fully independent organization and we live solely from donations. Our benefits and blessings, I know for sure, come from the Supreme Being. As a person and looking back, this day made me a stronger person and makes you cherish life gifts each and every day.
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
She is always positive and We are very proud of you. That I have made an impact or that because of me there is a value added to their lives. We would look back at great and joyful times in the past, and the memories would always be positive ones.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao?
As we are often in the society at large, I have taken notice of the potentials we have on the Island. There are people with great hearts and lots of great creative ideas. They only need a chance and the opportunity to realize them. The Youth, we work with, they have such promising futures. Money is not the only thing that matters, there is the time needed to dedicate and discover their strengths. It is within all of us to help contribute in the future of Curaçao, starting with the little things, look after each other, help each other, share knowledge and awareness and be more positive. I am sure we will succeed.
One of the 250 Influencers
Maisy Scharbay is a hardworking, thoughtful, positive, and focused professional, that is constantly upgrading herself. As a humanitarian, she loves to help people and she has a great understanding of what is happening in society. As a young woman and a staff member of Red Cross Curaçao, her work isn’t always easy. From an early age, growing up in a safe and encouraging environment, she was interested in helping people and this vocation made her end up working at the Red Cross. What makes her stand out is that over the years she has become a jack-of-all-trades (In Dutch: een duizendpoot). Her work requires this, as there never is a dull moment in her work, and as there is no manual available to deal with the challenge she deals with every single day. What makes her stand out, is her unique ability to stay in control and be patient, even under the most challenging circumstances, while dealing skillfully with different people from all walks of life. Her success formula is based on a great awareness of, why she is where she is at this moment and why she is doing this work. Because of all this, we consider Maisy Scharbay a role model and one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao, representing the Health sector and impacting and adding value to many other people’s lives. Look at the list of the Influencers we have interviewed or reported on, up to now.
The goal of the core group of Share2Uplift for 2023
The goal of the Share2Uplift movement is to: “Identify 250 leaders from all walks of life to connect, align and create impactful changes in all walks of life, which includes intergenerational collaboration by the end of 2023.” We will use interviewing Influencers, meet-and-greet events, “train-the-trainers”-programs on “Emotional Mastery” and “Intentionality “as national intervention strategies, to reach this goal on top of our goal to scale up the possibilities to connect, align and create impact via a virtual platform. We believe that by collaborating with Miguel Goede on the virtual Vision 2030 platform, we will accelerate the possibilities to connect the diaspora and others elsewhere in the world and on the island willing to constructively create impactful changes in Curaçao, to join.
As Share2Uplift, we are fully trying to align with this thinking of Center for Curriculum Redesign to promote this agenda in our educational systems and workplace. So, in that sense, we fully support any initiative to make our educational system 21st-century proof.
Share2Uplift aligners are those that:
– Create an inspiring vision of the future;
– Motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision;
– Manage the delivery of the vision;
– Coach and build a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision. These criteria are now being polished.
We also consider these 5 values the most important ones for Share2Uplift aligners. They are:
• Peace from within;
As we will progress towards this goal, we will update you on the progress.
Personal coaching tips
This week we will share some short videos on “The Red Cross”. We will upload one of these videos every day on our facebook.com/share2uplift page.
THE SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT MOVEMENT – YouTube
Mentale problemen onder jongeren: aanstellerites of niet? #shorts – YouTube
Waarom kiest het Rode Kruis geen partij tijdens een conflict? | Rode Kruis #shorts – YouTube
Red Cross National Video – This is the story of the Red Cross #WeAreRedCross – YouTube
Red Cross | On the ground: Humanitarians in Action – YouTube
Rode Kruis: hulpacties hartverwarmend, maar reis niet zomaar af naar Turkije en Syrië – YouTube