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Free breast cancer screenings at SMMC

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - On Saturday, October 23rd, 2021, St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) will resume its annual breast cancer screenings in collaboration with the Positive Foundation and the Elektralytes Foundation. From 9:00am to 3:00pm, attendees have the opportunity to receive free clinical breast exams carried out by SMMC’s Medical Specialists and assisted by student Doctors of the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC).

In addition to breast cancer screenings for women, SMMC will also offer free blood pressure and blood glucose monitoring for men and women and CPS and the Ministry of VSA will be on site to administer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Attendees will also have the option to receive information on the vaccine and breast cancer.

To avoid long lines and allow for proper social distancing, pre-registering for breast cancer screening is strongly encouraged. Women over the age of 20 are asked to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their name and phone number to register. Once registered, the attendees will receive confirmation with their appointment time. Walk-ins are welcome.

To ensure the safety of all attendees and volunteers, SMMC’s universal masking policy remains in effect and will be enforced. Persons making use of breast cancer screenings and the health checks will also be subjected to a temperature check and SMMC’s COVID-19 questionnaire.

SMMC kindly asks that persons who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea avoid attending the event but encourage them to make an appointment once they are no longer experiencing symptoms.

Breast cancer screening is available year-round at SMMC’s Radiology Department and appointments can be made by calling + 1 (721) 543-1111 extension 1360.

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Johnson: Is SXM Carnival 2022 being held to a double standard?

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - "It seems St. Maarten Carnival 2022 is being held to an apparent double standard," remarked Stuart Johnson former Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (TEATT) in a press statement on Thursday. 

"It is truly commendable the excessive safety plan the St.Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has created enabling the launch of the 2022 calendar of events. Kudos to SCDF and the entire team of hardworking volunteers," Johnson said. 

Johnson is a former President of SCDF having lead Carnival 2011 and 2012. 

"It would be remiss of me like many of you not to wonder if Government looks at social and entertainment events in silos. On a weekly basis, there are endless entertainment events happening throughout our island without the true enforcement of Covid-19 protocols by this Government as they promote." 

“It beckons me to ask if Government is holding the SCDF and Carnival 2022 to a double standard? Is there no viable option to allow SCDF to add Jouvert Morning to the calendar of events? 

"I hope this Government will embrace and promote Carnival 2022 as its Economic benefit is desperately needed for our country as we continue to go through this pandemic," Johnson said. 

“Does Government have a vision for our largest cultural event and to support the SCDF? Will the Tourism Office support marketing efforts for Carnival 2022? Will consideration be given through the use of the Marketing Memorandum of Understandings signed through the Ministry of TEATT to assist in minimizing cost? 

"The hosting and organizing of Carnival is a tedious task whereby the support of all stakeholders is required. SCDF and all carnival patrons should be commended for their patience, understanding, and efforts over the past two years," Johnson concluded. 

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Full vaccination at center of extensive Carnival safety plan

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - “A Safe Carnival For All” is the name of the Carnival 2022 COVID Safety Plan that was launched by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Thursday. President of the foundation Alston Lourens explained that the foundation spent months putting together the plan which builds on SCDF’s existing Carnival COVID plan which was set to be enforced if there were a Carnival 2021 festival.

As that event was also cancelled, the foundation used the past few months to study the successful templates of international festivals that were successfully held over the summer of 2021. In doing so, some operational initiatives came to light which could be adjusted to St. Maarten Carnival, in particular how festivals were structured around the availability of vaccines.

The foundation has presented its plan to Minister of VSA Omar Ottley and Minister of TEATT Roger Lawrence. Ottley specifically commended the foundation for the plan and noted that he and his team view protocols as fluid regulations that can change and adjust at a moment’s notice. Lourens explained that the Minister and CPS will always have the opportunity to advise and suggest changes to the presented Carnival safety plan.      

“We have worked long and hard on this plan because we are confident that with the presence of the vaccine, effective testing, and other operational protocols, we could have a safe and fun Carnival 2022. It will boil down to personal responsibility and strict adherence to rules and regulations,” Lourens said.

“We have put in place a range of measures to make the St. Maarten Carnival experience as COVID-safe as possible. We understand that this is an unprecedented time, and although we feel safe and secure that we've provided an environment where our patrons will be safely able to enjoy Carnival, we also understand the mental stress and fear associated with the pandemic. As such we have added more measures to our existing and extensive COVID-19 plan,” Lourens said.

Full Vaccination and Testing

The SCDF strongly encourage all residents and guests to vaccinate fully against COVID-19. In order to be fully vaccinated in time for Carnival 2022 and the events in Carnival Village, persons need to have received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (or an internationally recognized and accepted vaccine) by April 1, 2022 (two weeks prior to Carnival).

Carnival 2022 will require full COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR COVID-19 test results to enter Carnival Village at any time during the day or night. For patrons who are not vaccinated, a negative PCR COVID-19 test result must be obtained 72-hours prior to entering Carnival Village. If you are planning on attending the festival for its full 19 days you will need to get tested every three days and bring new proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

To be verified as vaccinated individuals must be fully vaccinated. A person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series. The following are acceptable as proof of full vaccination: Vaccination card (which includes name of person vaccinated, type of vaccine provided and date last dose administered) OR a photo of a vaccination card as a separate document OR a photo of the attendee’s vaccine card stored on a phone or electronic device. Self-reported vaccination records that are not verified by a health care provider cannot be accepted.

The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result: printed document (from the test provider or laboratory) OR an email displayed on a phone or electronic device from the test provider or laboratory. The information provided should include name of person tested, type of test performed, and date of negative test result (for PCR test, date of negative result must be within prior 72 hours.) Self-reported negative test results that are not from a test provider, a laboratory, or a health care provider cannot be accepted.

Mask Guidelines

Though masks are not currently required for outdoor events, the SCDF will strongly recommended their usage at all times in Carnival Village. The foundation will also have fully stocked kiosk with face masks, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers (for sale) erected in Carnival Village.

“Our staff, volunteers, sponsors, bootholders and contractors will not be exempt from any of these protocols including mask wearing. We will be strict on ourselves and our teams and hold ourselves accountable. Naturally in Carnival Village there is a lot of eating and drinking. For persons who are not comfortable eating at a booth, we will also have two food courts in our VIP areas,” Lourens said, adding that once a person is not eating or drinking they should wear a mask “especially if you are not vaccinated.”

Carnival Village Operational actions

  • Random health & hygiene checks of all booths internally and externally by health inspectors.
  • Hand Sanitizing equipment are required to be placed at each booth by the booth holder.
  • Booths are power-washed and sanitized regularly during the three week period of Carnival.
  • A professional waste and garbage removal company is on duty 24-7.
  • A professional cleaning crew is on duty 24-7 (to handle restrooms ect)
  • The SCDF requires that portable hand-washing sinks are placed in every booth by the booth holder.
  • Booth holders are required to sanitize and disinfect their immediate areas of operation throughout the day.
  • The Ambulance Department maintains a fully functional mini-medical center on premises.
  • All booths will be sanitized by a professional crew every morning before the booths are operational.
  • Additional hand-washing stations in the vicinity of the rest rooms will be placed
  • Cleaning crew will double its manpower and execute increased thorough cleaning of public areas.
  • There will be no tickets sold at the gate for any event, thereby minimizing lines and people having to stand close to each other to get into the Village. In the event of lines forming, SCDF has enough volunteers to ensure social distancing at the gates.
  • We will also promote signage, digital messaging inside the village to all patrons and their entourages about COVID-19 and how to prevent infection.

Personal Pledge

The foundation is also asking for a personal pledge from patrons: that you not attend if any of the following is true for you or anyone in your party: Within 48 hours prior to attending the festival, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by CPS.

Promotions

“The clear advantage that the SCDF has is being able to promote not just the festival for months in advance, but also all of the aforementioned measures. SCDF will utilize all of its social media platforms as well as its stakeholders in getting the message out. Signage will be everywhere and in the village the reminders and awareness imagery will be glaring. Calypsonians, bands, troupe leaders, pageant contestants and other Carnival stalwarts will be included in our promotional plan which will lean heavily on video content. A big part of our push will be encouraging Carnival lovers to get vaccinated,” Lourens concluded.

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SABA students thank NAGICO Insurances for Care kits

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Students of the Saba Comprehensive and Sacred Heart Primary School in Saba have expressed a big thank you to NAGICO Insurances, for providing them with care packages, to help them maneuver face to face learning while staying safe in the pandemic. 

Administrator of the NAGICO Saba Office, Sheritsa Brigida Oleana made a courtesy call to the schools, where she presented the packages to the eager students. 

“Trying to return to a state of normalcy during a pandemic is very difficult, especially with the new strain of the COVID-19 Delta variant affecting many of us personally,” she said. “We have gone from hearing about the virus oceans away in other countries, to seeing it in our homes and in some cases, claiming the lives of our friends and family. As an insurance provider, we know that we must play our part in not only spreading awareness, but also in providing the necessary assistance where possible.” 

The students received backpacks with reusable masks, hand sanitizers, pens, and pencils. 

“Telling them what to do is not enough,” Brigida- Oleana said about the COVID-19 precautionary measures, “providing them with the resources to protect themselves is important in stopping the spread of the virus, and for the recovery our education system. By providing them with this tangible protective material, we hope to make the move back to normalcy a bit easier and safer.” 

The students expressed their gratitude and thanked NAGICO for their continued contribution to the community of Saba.

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PFP questions Minister Jacobs, Doran about acting positions within government

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In light of the apparent norm within the civil service of having one person fulfil multiple critical roles at the same time, Party for Progress (PFP) Members of Parliament (MPs) Melissa Gumbs and Raeyhon Peterson questioned Minister of General Affairs Silveria Jacobs and Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) Egbert Doran about the practice in an official letter on Friday, October 8, 2021.

MPs Gumbs and Peterson based their letter on the National Ordinance Structure and Organization of National Government, also known as the LIOL.

According to Articles 5-9 of the LIOL, there is a clear distinction between the Secretary-General (who oversees the day-to-day operations of a ministry), a department head (who reports to the Secretary-General on the department’s functioning), and the head of an operating organization (whose section executes tasks based on ministerial policy).

The MPs posed several questions about the Ministry of VROMI, which, according to the LIOL, has one department and five operating organizations. The operating organizations are, namely, New Projects, Infrastructure Management, Domain Affairs, Inspection, and Permits.

Reportedly, VROMI has even had one person simultaneously occupying the positions of Secretary-General (SG) and the heads of two operating organizations at a certain point. Although a standing practice in government, this situation has no legal basis and can result in potentially damaging conflicts of interest, said MP Peterson.

As an example, MP Peterson added, “the Secretary-General, according to the national ordinance (LIOL), has no role to play in the executive duties of the operating organizations. This is not part of their mandate by law, and any interference with the executive tasks of the operating organization does not have a legal basis if it is not solely concerning a proposed policy for that operating organization.”

The MPs asked the following questions about Domain Affairs, which has been understaffed for several years :

  1. Since January 2020 up to now, who have been the heads of the operating organization Domain Affairs, whether acting or official, and from what date to what date did they serve as the acting/official position of head of operating organization Domain Affairs?
  2. If there have been acting-heads of the operating organization Domain Affairs in the period mentioned above, what was their official position within the organization of VROMI prior to taking up the “acting” role of head of Domain Affairs?
  3. Did they have other “acting” roles at the moment of being acting-head of operating organization Domain Affairs?

“VROMI has created the misconception that the SG has a say when it comes to the executive decisions taken by the operating organizations. An advice being sent back to the department by the SG with “corrections” regarding whether an advice is positive or not, has become a habit. The constant battle between heads of the operating organization and the SG is a well known phenomenon within the Ministry of VROMI.”

The MPs also posed general questions about acting positions within government. This is why the MPs included Minister Jacobs, as the Ministry of General Affairs handles government’s personnel issues and relationships in a broad sense.

In this regard, MPs Gumbs and Peterson asked:

  1. How is the “acting” position regulated within government?
  2. If a person is to be “acting” in a certain position that is not their current position within the Ministry that they are working at, what is the actual procedure?
  3. Can a person become “acting” without a national decree (landsbesluit) signed by the Governor?
  4. What is government's official stance on this “acting” phenomenon that happens?
  5. Is there any relevant documentation concerning this?

“The persons who are the Secretary-General, the department head, and the head of the operating organization all have different roles to play in the checks and balances of government. Their distinctive functions have been made clear in the law, and for the government to function effectively, you cannot have one person fulfilling these critical roles. We’ve seen what this has caused in the past and history is bound to repeat itself, as we are seeing now,” said MP Peterson.

“A proper system of checks and balances is vital for any bureaucratic institution, but even more so for the government, which is tasked with managing public funds and executing projects on behalf of the people in a responsible manner,” concluded MP Gumbs.

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The Central Bank launches a competition among students. CBCS Best Economic Research Award

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - In 2018, the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS), in connection with its 190th anniversary, introduced the CBCS Best Economic Research Award.

To further stimulate and promote research on the economies of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, the CBCS decided to launch the 2nd Edition of the CBCS Best Economic Research Award this year.

HAVO and VWO students in Curaçao and Sint Maarten as well as local and international bachelor and master students are invited to participate in this competition.

The award will be presented in four categories: I. Best Economic Research Award on HAVO level. The winner will receive a money prize of NAf 2.500 and a trophy. II. Best Economic Research Award on VWO level. The winner will receive a money prize of NAf 2.500 and a trophy. III. Best Economic Research Award on Bachelor’s level. The winner will receive a money prize of NAf 10.000 and a trophy. IV. Best Economic Research Award on Master’s level.

The winner will receive a money prize of NAf 10.000 and a trophy. The CBCS hopes that this project will be embraced by the schools in Curaçao and Sint Maarten, by way of motivating their students with economics in their curriculum to participate in this competition.

Winners will be informed on July 1, 2022. An award ceremony will be held in the week thereafter.

For more information on the eligibility to participate, the rules of the competition, and the evaluation criteria, please visit www.centralbank.cw/education/best-paper-award.

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CPS: World Mental Health Day October 10 Theme: Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – Sunday 10 October marks World Mental Health Day around the world. The theme is “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality.” #WorldMentalHealthDay

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. “Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. And services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been significantly disrupted,” the WHO pointed out.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says that World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for people and organizations around the world working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

The observations and creating awareness of the annual theme is part of CPSs annual calendar of health observances.

Mental health refers to an array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease.”

CPS says that “Mental issues are common problems among people some more intense than others but all requiring help and attention. It could bother anyone at any time of your life. Stay attentive. Create awareness on Mental health.

“Do not be ashamed Mental illness is not a failure we encourage all persons and families struggling with mental illness to seek help and support do not hide your feelings but open up, mental illness.

“Together as we commemorate Mental Health Awareness let us as community support mental health awareness programs.”

Close to one billion people have a mental disorder and anyone, anywhere, can be affected.

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression.

Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experience a mental disorder. Half of all such disorders start by age 14 years but most are undetected and untreated.

People with severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia tend to die 10-20 years earlier than the general population.

One in every 100 deaths is by suicide. It is the fourth leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29 years.

Some of the most common mental health conditions, depression and anxiety, can be treated with talking therapies, medication, or a combination of these.

Regular health checks of people with severe mental disorders can prevent premature death.

The Sint Maarten Mental Health Organization (MHF) provides psychiatric care services to the population of the country. Its mission includes prevention to mitigate as much as possible the negative impact of mental disorders on individual’s wellbeing and on society.

For general information on mental health issues, you can call 542-1677 or for a mental health crisis, you can call the crisis line 520-5556 which will be answered by a professional and its confidential.

For more information, you can call CPS 542-1122 or 914.

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MP Buncamper Queries about NV GEBE in Central Committee Meeting

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - During the Central Committee meeting held on Monday regarding the financial status of NV GEBE attended by the Minister of VROMI, Egbert Doran, Member of Parliament (MP) MP Buncamper, leader of the USP faction in parliament, fired off a number of questions to the minister, the faction office of the MP said in a press statement on Tuesday.

“The questions posed by MP Buncamper have been asked in previous meetings held in June and remain unanswered.

“MP Buncamper expressed his surprise at the high cost of electricity for streetlights, while the streetlights maintenance contract calls for LED lights, which should easily reduce the cost of electricity by 50%, and wonders why this reduction is not reflected in the budget. The MP asked the Minister if he is aware that all streetlights have to be LED and that they are already paid for since the first streetlight contract was signed?

“Some 2000 lights have already been replaced, yet the minister’s previous response alluded to the fact that this still has to be reviewed and all lights are yet to be replaced. The issue here is the loss in the cost of electricity, which is GEBE’s responsibility to bare due to their noncompliance with the contract. The MP inquired if this can be reviewed and the savings for government be corrected?

“MP Buncamper also questioned the water pricing policy for schools. The cost of water weighs heavily on the schools’ budget due to the fuel clause. “With oil exceeding $80 a barrel, the fuel clause is expected to sky-rocket in the not-too-distant future” the MP noted and inquired about government’s involvement and authority with the fuel clause calculation, which has a number of components that make it difficult to understand.

“The TEATT minister’s involvement also came into question, while the MP inquired if there is a maximum profit set for government owned companies seeing that they have a concession and the monopoly. The MP further questioned if the relief for senior citizens given by GEBE will continue as it was in the past. MP Buncamper went on to question what government policies are in regards to the water production, the investment in the distribution network and the management of the water distribution.

“The MP requested a copy of the agreement being used. “How does the approval of maintenance to the network take place? Are the tender procedures in compliance with government regulations?” the MP asked. He also questioned government’s net profit on the water distribution taking leakages and other water loss into account and who is responsible for the loss due to leaks?,” the statement from the MPs faction office said.

“What is government’s plan or policy pertaining to the National Energy law of 2013 with regards to how we use and produce energy on this island? Are the fuel prices not a clear signal of what is happening and is still to come?,” MP Buncamper asked.

“The MP went on to question government’s position regarding government owned companies adhering to the laws of the country, particularly when it pertains to the pension age versus the CLA and the new SZV wage limit in 2022 for sickness insurance coverage.

“MP Buncamper inquired if all government owned companies have to follow the same path as PJIAE where the corporate government council is concerned? Will they be subjected to the corporate governance council approval for the implementation of policies and agreements?

“Is it a requirement by law that proposed board members must fit a specific profile to fill a board position? Are all new board members presently fulfilling the criteria?

“Does GEBE have rules and regulations regarding leaking of information to the media by its supervisory board members, management team, employees or affiliated companies?

“What are the shareholders roles in the future development of NV GEBE? Taking into account the reliability of the engine park and the lack of training of personnel for the engine park maintenance.

“Is GEBE complying with article 14 of their electricity concession of 2015, which states that GEBE must have 2% of their grid capacity capable produced by alternative energy? 6 years has passed since the concession was signed!

“Passing on the fuel clause to consumers needs to be addressed otherwise the cost of doing business will not be sustainable in this country. What is the shareholders plan for this? Afterall, they granted the concession and together with the GEBE management they made the price structure in May 2011.

“The MP continued to delve into the financial benefits, if any, in maintaining the status quo at GEBE compared to moving on to alternative energy? “Saba has already started the move to solar energy. Are there any plans for St. Maarten to follow suite? If so, when?”, the minister asked, and went on to say that “The Council of Ministers received a presentation from a local fuel company on the island to go into various alternative sources of energy and in particular solar energy. What is the government’s position to this option and how will NV GEBE be incorporated in this project/program?”, the minister queried.

“The waste to energy plan proposed by the World Bank is extremely costly. Will alternative options be sought for such and will the funds made available by the World Bank be available to carry this out?

“Finally, the MP questioned what government’s monthly income is from the sale of water, and how much does government invest in the water distribution network? And, who approved these investments?,” the faction office of the MP concludes.

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Traffic Dept. investigating several accidents from over weekend

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) - The Traffic Department of the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM is investigating several accidents that took place over the weekend.

On 3 October, 2021, around 9:45pm, Police Central Dispatch was notified of a traffic accident near the corner of Middle Region Road and Hilda B. Richardson Road.

According to the preliminary investigation, it appears that the driver of the gray i10 was attempting to overtake another car, while a Hummer was approaching from the opposite direction; they collided.

It also appeared that both the driver and co-occupant of the i10 were under the influence of alcohol. Both were detained as the investigation continues.    

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COLE BAY - Around 3:00am on 4 October 2021, Police Central Dispatch was notified of a traffic accident in which a scooter rider was seriously injured.

At the scene, the patrol found that the scooter rider was on Welfare Road coming from the traffic circle heading in the direction of Simpson Bay. The rider drove at such high speed that he lost control, struck the road divider and landed more than 100 meters further up on Welfare Road.

The rider was tended at the scene by paramedics for his fractured collarbone and severe scrapes and transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment.

KPSM reinforces its warning to scooter and motorcycle riders to adhere to road rules and to take into consideration other road users. The Police have noticed an increase in risky behavior by certain groups of road users, which is causing concern for the safety of the general public.

Serious accidents keep occurring and due to their severity the results are often (severe) injuries or death of the rider or other road users. 

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LITTLE BAY - On Monday, 4 October 2021, at approximately 9:00am, the Central Dispatch received a notification that a SUV had overturned on the Spanish Fort Road, Little Bay.

At the scene, it appeared that a gray SUV was unable to negotiate the slope, went backwards, struck the concrete edge of the road and flipped over.

The driver suffered several abrasions and was treated at the scene by paramedics. The investigation is still ongoing.

(KPSM)

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Workshop for maximizing your data management via Google Suite

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Effectively using Google Suite/Workspace is the next topic in NPOwer’s series of workshops. Imagine being able to store all files, photos, project plans and be able to have your team jointly access and work in one platform; that’s just some of the flexibility offered by Google Suite. It is a collection of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed and marketed by Google.   

NPOwer and Director of the National Institute for Professional Advancement, Sergio Dimitri Blomont is offering a six-hour workshop for St. Maarten based NPOs to learn how to effectively use Google Suite to improve the way organizations use and manage data.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, October 9, starting 9:00am to 3:00pm at R4CR/Samenwerkende Fondsen offices, located at Illidge Road 60, Unit 1. Space is limited to 12 spots for the in-house workshop and the only prerequisite is that participants must be able to send an email via Gmail. A small lunch and drinks will be provided.

NPOwer’s Alston Lourens reminds NPOs that this NPOwer series of workshops focus on building capacity within the local NPO community, so that organizations can reach their potential and have the impact on society they hope for. “Even for experienced NPOs, these trainings can help modernize their strategy and the way they develop, I strongly encourage NPOs to sign up quick, as space is limited"

NPOwer is a program executed by the Foresee Foundation and funded by Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben - Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius, Saba. For more information contact the NPOwer team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 721 523 9188.

This workshop is part of a series of workshops geared toward empowering and strengthening the capacity of St. Maarten’s NPO community. This round of workshops, which will engage NPOs with topics ranging from governance, data collection to accounting and more will run until December.

Blomont is both diligent in education and committed to the teaching profession. He joined NIPA in 2018 after six years of serving as a Coordinator/Assistant Principal with one of the largest high schools on the island. Prior to joining the NIPA organization, Sergio worked for several other educational institutions as well as engineering and construction firms, both in St Maarten and in the Netherlands.

He obtained his Bachelor of Education in Technical Science in 2001 from the College of Fontys in Eindhoven and his Bachelor of Built Environment in 2008 from the Technical University of Amsterdam. Upon completion of his educational degrees, he taught for several years in Amsterdam and afterwards moved on to the engineering and construction field. 

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