THE HAGUE – Gilberto Morishaw was feeling down. Due to the corona measures, he no longer has a new job. He can’t finish his thesis either. So he decided to put all his energy into connecting and supporting the Caribbean community through his platform Keda Kas (Stay Home).

The idea is to bundle new and existing digital activities within the Caribbean community in the Netherlands and on the islands. “At the moment everything is separated and everyone is literally on their own island”, says Morishaw. Keda Kas organizes digital discussions and mental health sessions. But they also share vlogs created by Caribbean influencers who share their stay-at-home tips.

The Curaçaoan Zu-edy had the coronavirus and shares her experience about getting the virus in the Netherlands, far away from family. Screen capture of video.

Far away from family
A lockdown is in place on all the overseas islands. This means that inhabitants can only leave the house for emergency situations, to do groceries, or get medicine. The corona measures have also been extended in the Netherlands. This means that for a lot of Dutch Caribbean individuals, their friends and family are far away, scattered throughout the Kingdom.

That’s why Morishaw wants to focus on emotional and mental health. “We don’t often hold deep conversations with each other. We find those scary, as did I. But there’s a shift happening within the younger generations.”

He’ll be organizing a Mental Health Session together with Keda Kas this week. “We’re talking to psychology students and we want to invite everyone to watch the live-stream and ask their questions. In this way we will create a space where we can share everything with each other.”

Caribbean influencer Giomy shares tips to keep quarantine fun. Screen capture of video.

Morishaw would really like to discuss the future prospects for the islands, especially with young professionals. Keda Kas has already held an online conference on Curaçao about how someone can continue working during and after the corona crisis.

New perspective
“Now is the moment to come together and brainstorm about a perspective for a world with corona”, says Morishaw. “The islands were already experiencing tough economic times: we have to move towards a sustainable and resilient economy. One that doesn’t just rely on tourism and oil. We have to think about this together. Now is the time.”

You can follow Keda Kas via Facebook and Instagram.