Why is social security important for my family and community?
by: Sunshine Presas - posted July 7, 2005
“It is a typical Majuro Saturday night, a night of partying and drunk people. While Alex is driving his bike, suddenly, out of nowhere, comes a car out of control and hits him. He goes flying to the air and woke up in the hospital two weeks later, paralyzed. Then the doctor told him that he will be disabled for the rest of his life, thanks to the drunk driving the car.”
The above scenario is just an imaginative incident depicted in the winning entry by Sunshine Presas, a 10th Grade student of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School, in the MISSA-sponsored essay writing contest in SDA. Her composition earned her a cash prize and a certificate of recognition presented to her during the 37th Year Anniversary of MISSA and the Republic’s 2nd Retirees’ Day held on July 1st. She was also requested to read her winning entry in front of the hundreds of retirees currently receiving benefits from MISSA.
The essay contest was the result of a prior initiative by SDA high school teacher Samuel Ngala, who invited MISSA representatives to discuss with his sophomore and junior students the benefit programs and implementing guidelines of MISSA. Although the discussion was short, the MISSA representatives have noted the enthusiasm of the students to learn about the benefits of social security. As these students will virtually find jobs or will become employers in just a few years, they would be joining the thousands of Marshallese and foreign workers and employers who are contributing to the social security retirement and health funds.
Below is the complete text of Sunshine’s winning entry:
A man named Alex is driving his nice new bike beside the road. He has 2 kids and a housewife. Both kids are in school. It is a typical Majuro Saturday night, a night of partying and drunk people. While he pedals on, suddenly, out of nowhere, comes a car our of control and hits him. He goes flying to the air and woke up in the hospital two weeks later, paralyzed. Then the doctor told him that he will be disabled for the rest of his life, thanks to the drunken people driving the car. What should he do? How will he support his family and non-working wife financially?
Well, he does not have to worry because the Marshall Islands Social Security Administration (MISSA) is there which has a benefit program for Alex and people like him. MISSA has disability benefits. This program help people like Alex who will be paralyzed for the rest of his life. The benefits will help him and his family financially.
But disability benefits are not the only benefits that MISSA has. There are also retirement benefits. This program helps those people in the community who need to retire because they are too old to work. This program helps the Marshallese community a lot because some of the kids of the retirees still depend on them and so, in order to help support these kids financially, they need money. And of course, they are too old to work. So, getting some retirement benefits is always a good thing.
When the parents die, the kids get the retiree benefits to support them. This is called the survivor benefits. This program helps the closest family of the retiree who died. The life span of a typical Marshallese is about 50 to 60 years old. So, I’m sure this program is used a lot here in the Marshall Islands.
The last kind of benefit program they have is called the lump sum benefit. This is when you get all your social security money all at once. This is very helpful to those people in the community who are in debt. If you are an impatient person and you can’t wait to get all those money, this is something good for you.
The people of the Marshall Islands need uplifting of their personal and economic life financially. And that is what MISSA is here for. Just as their mission statement says: “To uplift the personal and economic well-being of the people of the Marshall Islands, by providing them with long-term financial security in their retirement age or during disability.
Name : Sunshine Presas
Age : 15
Nationality : Filipino
School : SDA Delap, Majuro
Grade : 10th
Title : “ The importance of Social Security for my family and community”