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Emmanuel: Govt liable for unhygienic and unsafe garbage collection methods

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Independent Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Sunday said garbage haulers, with the permission of government and the Ministry of VROMI, are creating unsafe, unhygienic and dangerous situations across the island in the manner they are collecting garbage.

The MP explained that he has received several pictures and videos from concerned citizens showing, among other things, the usage of inadequate small vehicles to collect garbage, the wind lifting and blowing the garbage out of these vehicles, workers jumping in and out of open garbage vehicles, workers jumping into garbage bins to lighten the load before they can physically lift the bin to the rear of the vehicle ect. In the aftermath of these actions, spillage is left behind and is blown throughout the districts.

He said on any given day workers can be seen digging into bins to lift of garbage bags “only to have the bags burst open and garbage spread all over the place.” Rather than ensuring that all garbage is collected he said, workers collect what they can and simply move on. The trucks being used are also leaking garbage fluids on the road surface.

“We also see workers riding inside the back of the open truck with garbage piled up to their necks. This is unhygienic for both the worker and the district they are responsible to clean. Having garbage blowing out of open trucks is also dangerous. Which insurance company will pay for a vehicle that is damaged from flying debris? Or injures a person walking as the truck passes by? Residents are also complaining via social media and radio call-in programs about the visible increase of garbage scattered along the roadside.

MP Emmanuel has questioned how and why the Ministry of VROMI is allowing this kind of operational execution and if there were not standards of operations outlined in the Terms of Reference (TOR) document of October 2020 which was used to award the new garbage collection contracts. This is even more pertinent since the Minister of VROMI boasted of new procedures being put in place, he said. He added that there are no control and/or enforcement of proper operations by the Ministry of VROMI which by extension is ultimately responsible for any unhygienic situation created in the districts.

The MP also stressed that he is not yet finished with looking into the entire bidding process for the new contracts. “There is much more to come on that since the Minister of VROMI chooses to say my concerns expressed about the bidding process were just sensational comments. We will soon see what sensation is and what fact is. In the meantime, we are faced with a situation that can be prevented if government enforces its own regulations as outlined in the TOR for these garbage haulers. Such as garbage trucks with rear-loaders and side-loaders,” MP Emmanuel said.

“The TOR should clearly state that all collection vehicles must have fully enclosed steel bodies to prevent loss or spillage of the materials. If this is in the TOR, why is the Ministry of VROMI allowing all sorts of open vehicles to be used to collect garbage? The TOR should have indicated to garbage haulers the kind of vehicle to use and before any hauler was awarded a contract, the Ministry had to ensure that company actually had the vehicles necessary to collect the garbage. Making the companies sign statements of indemnification does not absolve the Ministry of VROMI of this responsibility,” the MP said.

“Government cannot be so irresponsible and throw up their hands. Enforce the stipulations and deal with the garbage haulers respectively for the sake of our communities and the health of the people living there,” Emmanuel concluded.

MP EMM PIX2

 

 

 

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15,000+ COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccines Arrive. Public Health Authorities Urge Community to Register for a Vaccine

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – On Friday, April 9th, 13 boxes containing 15,210 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country on a KLM flight from the Netherlands. This amount can vaccinate 7,605 persons.

The Collective Prevention Service (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development (Ministry VSA) and the Vaccination Management Team (VMT) are urging the public to register for a vaccine as soon as possible due to the current unprecedented outbreak that is taking place on the island of Curacao.

Curacao is seeing on average over 100 new positive COVID-19 cases each day.  On Sunday, there were 4,768 active cases; 129 persons are hospitalized, 44 of them are in the Intensive Care Unit.

The Curacao community is being impacted by the UK variant of the COVID-19 virus.  Viruses mutate all the time, and the UK variant is much more contagious which means more people in the community can be infected with the virus and this can have serious implications for the elderly as well as persons with underlying conditions who have not yet been vaccinated. 

The UK variant is already in circulation on the island. The main threat for the country is that more people will become ill and that means more people will end up in the hospital, putting pressure on the country’s public health facilities and more people will die.

An outbreak of the UK variant in the country will also have a negative impact on the national economy which in turn will also impact the workforce where it concerns employment.

Vaccines are a critical tool in the fight against the COVID-19 virus and there are clear public health and lifesaving benefits once you are vaccinated. 

The Netherlands decided to combine the third and fourth Pfizer batches which would allow CPS and VMT to scale up the administering of the COVID-19 vaccine to members of the community who have registered due to the serious public health situation on Curacao.

Sint Maarten has already received two other batches of the vaccine since February amounting to 15.210 doses.

Members of the community are reminded to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Registration can be done via the online registration form which is available in English, Spanish, and Creole, and can be found via this link: https://forms.sintmaartengov.org/form.aspx?v=OGtn05kNmb

Both Cole Bay and Dutch Quarter Community Helpdesks are currently equipped to provide information and can assist with registration on the spot. They are open from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Monday to Friday.  You must bring a form of identification when you visit the helpdesk.

Lastly, the paper based “COVID Vaccine Registration Form” can be picked up at several locations, including CPS at the Vineyard Office Park Building, the Division of Labor Affairs at the Simpson Bay Public Service Center in Simpson Bay, doctors’ offices, the Government Administration Building, and select pharmacies.

If you have a friend, parent, neighbor, or relative that may need assistance with registration, transportation, or emotional support, please do your part. If you need help with the registration process, your appointment, or wish for more information about the vaccination campaign, you can also call CPS at 914 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Organizations who wish to inform their staff about the Covid-19 vaccine and vaccination program via an information session can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sint Maarten, protected together. 

MinVSA Arrival of 3rd and 4th COVID19 Vaccines pix2

 

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R4CR funds infrastructure of Playground in Middle Region

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) - The construction of a Multi-Functional Recreational Park, situated next to the Sister Marie Laurence Primary School in Middle Region and which forms an extension of this Catholic school, is currently in its final stages of completion.

The last element to be constructed is the playground, which will be located behind the brand-new basketball court and the soon-to-be completed Garden Community Space. The funding for the infrastructure of this long-awaited playground was secured via the Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR).

The R4CR program is a grant scheme that focuses exclusively on financing and strengthening of local Civil Society Organization (CSOs). The program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the St. Maarten Trust Fund.

The latter is administered by the World Bank, implemented by the NRPB (National Recovery Program Bureau) and executed by VNGI (the Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten International) in close cooperation with Foresee Foundation-NPOwer and other local partners.

This new Multi-Functional Recreational Park aims to offer immediate uplifting to the district of Middle Region, and it ties directly into the vision of the new Exceptional School – Sister Marie Laurence, a construction project that will be financed with the Trust Fund monies. The new school will be in the form of a true Community School with integrated community facilities, including those facilities of the Recreational Park.

According to the Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten, “the aim is to engage the entire district of Middle Region and to provide an uplifting experience by enhancing this area on a Social, Educational and Recreational level. The facilities offered in the Multi-Functional Recreational Park are an extension of the school”.

The facilities are offered to the community of Middle Region for their use as well from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on school days, and from 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. on non-school days. The goal of the various elements of the Recreational Park is to offer something positive, relaxing, and enjoyable for all age-levels.

This playground will offer a safe and adventurous environment for the youngsters to build social, emotional, and cognitive skills. It will allow for exercising and free/creative play which will have a positive effect on their executive functioning, and it will increase their capacity to develop coping skills which will strengthen them and make them more resilient.

“Our youths have really faced much adversity these past 3.5 years, with the passing of hurricane Irma and the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. Offering them a place to enjoy themselves will have so many added benefits for their well-being. The Foundation is very grateful that the R4CR’s support and commitment regarding the construction of this playground”, according to the Foundation.

To further assist with the realization of the playground, contributions in various forms were made by Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, GEBE N.V., Windward Roads, Caribbean Palms, and Dijtham.

skos Playground infrastructure 1

 

 

 

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A HISTORICAL MOMENT FOR ST. MARTIN’S MOKO JUMBIE CULTURE

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Soualiga Capoeira group were the founders of the Soualiga Mokos Jumbies, a local stilt walking group that existed in early 2000s has donated their costumes to Funtopia Youth Initiative Foundation the founders of the Soualigan Giants Moko Jumbies.

“This is a significant moment for the culture of Moko Jumbies on the island, says President Lucinda Audain. “I see it has passing on the baton for the culture continue to thrive. More collaboration is needed between cultural organizations in order for them to survive these current world changes.”

“While we took great joy in helping to revitalize the Moko Jumbie tradition - with the help of many others - we do recognize good work when we see it and it was far better to donate these costumes (that were used for various shows, during carnival and Xmas parades etc.) to the current generation of Stilt-walkers than to have them sit idly in storage. We’re happy to be able to contribute this knowing that they will be in good hands under great leadership,“says Tyrone Phelipa.

At present the newly renamed Soualigan Giants Moko Jumbie tribe has been active since 2014. The group currently has 35 members and 26 elementary students training in the Unesco after school program.

Funtopia youth initiative hopes to continue spreading the culture and knowledge about the art form and hope to increase their numbers in the hundreds. On April 30, the new members will be on the board walk to put on a cultural display showcasing what they have learnt in the last three months.

For more information, follow Funtopia Youth Initiative Foundation and Soualigan Giants Moko Jumbies on Facebook.

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MP Ottley calls on Sint Maarten to pray for St. Vincent and the Grenadines

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent has erupted and displaced thousands of people, which Member of Parliament for the United People's (UP) Party Omar Ottley says, "it’s a sad turn of events for the entire Caribbean."

In a Press Release issued Friday Morning, the MP also said the volcanic eruption and displacement of St. Vincent and the Grenadines people should be "a wakeup call for those who are responsible for making the decision that impacts St. Maarten’s ability to recover."

"As people of the Caribbean, whenever one of our neighbours suffer, we feel their pain because we are all connected by blood and water," said Ottley. He issued a plea to the people of St. Maarten to "keep St. Vincent and the Grenadines in your prayers."

Ottley is also calling on the Nature Foundation on St. Maarten to "pay keen attention to oceanic developments that may result from the volcanic eruption." Studies show that after a volcanic eruption, evaporation decreases over the ocean. This change in sea condition can lead to sea creatures migrating to other areas for haven.

"We will need to count on the expertise of the Nature Foundation and others to advise the government on what effects can be expected here in St. Maarten due to volcanic eruption and how best we can prepare," said MP Ottley. 

Ottley said that at this critical time, organizations like the World Bank that manages the Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund, which is financed by The Netherlands, should be paying attention to what the new era of natural disasters are like.

According to MP Ottley, the World Bank, St. Maarten has been waiting since Hurricane Irma's aftermath in 2017 to see tangible signs of recovery. 

"World Bank must be mindful of the supernatural acts such as hurricanes and volcanos that are no longer occurring at regular rates or with normal force." I urge you to see this latest development as yet another sign and make it your priority to rebuild and prepare St. Maarten as we enter a hurricane season that has already been predicted will be above average in the coming months. 

St. Vincent's National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, announced early on Friday that "La Soufriere experienced an explosive eruption." It released over five (5) miles of ash plum, which could see for miles while they were rushing to waiting ferries to take them off the island. 

"Our lives will forever change, and for us here in St. Maarten, we know only too well what the impact of natural disasters can do to displace people and change lives." 

According to MP Ottley, generations to come will be reminded of the tragic experience for the people of St. Vincent. "We in the Caribbean are just beginning to experience the real effect of the Corona Virus COVID-19 that has devastated global economies. I cannot imagine what life would be for the people of St. Vincent now that they have the added burden of this volcanic eruption," said Ottley.   

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Port St. Maarten and RCG Officials reaffirms potential strategic initiatives

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten Management met with Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) executives this week where they had strategic discussions in connection with further strengthening the partnership that has existed for several decades.

The deliberations focused on port infrastructure and cruise guests’ experiences. “Port St. Maarten is the #1 port in this part of the region, and the discussions centered on strategic and tactical strategies in maintaining this posture as a cruise destination.

“We looked at how we can further increase and enhance homeporting opportunities and other potential business based on the ports Ernest & Young High Level Strategic Plan.

“The RCG executives were also introduced to the Chief Operations Officer of the Princess Juliana International Airport with respect to the homeporting of Celebrity Millennium and what the logistics would entail for such an operation. All three parties have to be in sync and close collaboration is needed in order to make a success out of this opportunity.

“Port St. Maarten is committed to working closely with our partners in further enhancing the infrastructure, visitor experiences and building upon a solid foundation that has existed with the cruise industry. Additional discussions will be taking place in the coming weeks with respect to further extending current partnerships,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Thursday.

In the meantime, preparations for the homeporting of Celebrity Millennium from Celebrity Cruises which will set sail from the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility on June 5 is continuing.

The RCG executives were given a site tour of the facility which will play a primary role in processing cruise guests prior to boarding Celebrity Millennium and upon their return.

The 2.200-guest Celebrity Millennium will be offering seven-night itineraries departing through August. According to a recent press release from Royal Caribbean Group, the ship will sail with vaccinated crew and will be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of embarkation.

The Celebrity Millennium which carries 2.200 guests at double occupancy, is expected to sail with approximately 50% capacity in the initial stage due to the pandemic cruise industry regulations.

The vessel entered the cruise market in June 2000 and has a gross tonnage of 90,940; is 965 feet in length with a beam of 105 feet. Celebrity Millennium was part of the Group’s US$500 million fleet modernization program offering new features and onboard experiences for cruise guests.

Port St. Maarten Management said this would be the largest homeporting vessel to date to carry out operations at the country’s main seaport.

“This is the first time that we will be carrying out homeporting operations during the hurricane season and therefore will be taking additional precautionary measures to guarantee a seamless operation during the period the vessel is homeporting out of St. Maarten.

“The past homeporting experience, since 2013 - that the port has garnered over the years from this niche market, is based on the synergy of all staff along with management which was one of the contributing factors for the Royal Caribbean Group to select St. Maarten.

“The build back of the current homeporting facility will take approximately two weeks. The Port St. Maarten team is working at full speed ahead on the buildup in close collaboration with the Group in order to assure a smooth and efficient resumption of the cruise business to St. Maarten,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Thursday.

Homeporting generates more airlifts in and out of the destination via the Princess Juliana International Airport; brings additional business for local service providers where it concerns vessel provisioning and fuel supply; and creates the potential for pre- and post-cruise extension visits at hotels. In addition, spin-off of business activity for restaurants, tour operators, taxis, car rental companies, and many other varied small and medium-sized business operations and entrepreneurs.

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R4CR Quick Win Round 2 off to a Flying Start. 23 Proposals Received

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Resources For Community Resilience (R4CR) program closed the request for proposals for “Quick-Win round 2” on April 2. A total of 23 proposals were received requesting almost 1 million dollars in funding, far exceeding the $750,000 dollar budget reserved for “Quick-Win round 2”. “Our team is very happy with this result as it shows that the local organizations see the benefits of the program and have increased the quality of their project plans to meet the strict requirements set by the World Bank” commented Rolf Hunink, R4CR Team Leader.

The R4CR program includes a grant scheme as funding mechanism for community and social rehabilitation initiatives on Sint Maarten and focuses on improving the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSO’s) in reconstruction and resilience activities post hurricane Irma.

The R4CR program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the Sint Maarten Trust Fund which is administered by the World Bank and monitored by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB).

The grant scheme will be active for four years (2020-2024) and will provide grants to local CSO’s (also known as NGO’s) to execute projects focused on reconstruction, resilience and improved service provision. Project activities by registered CSO’s can cover subject categories such as neighborhood initiatives, sports/recreation, nature/environment, culture, poverty relief, day care centers/after school programs, youth employment, skills development, psycho-social support and gender based violence.

In the first year of implementation two “Quick-Win rounds” are foreseen. The “Quick-Win rounds” have been designed for projects that can be completed within six months with a moderate budget. ”Quick-Win round 1” started in September 2020. Twelve projects were selected with a total budget of $452,481. Those projects are currently in the final stages of completion. “Quick-Win round 2” has a total budget of $750,000 with a maximum of $60,000 per project.

Following four general information sessions on “Quick-win round 2” organized in February, the R4CR team decided to schedule an additional four explanatory sessions at its premises on the A.T. Illidge Road to guide attendants systematically through the main application documents: the Technical and Financial Proposal. The explanatory sessions were held in-person to allow CSO’s to get acquainted with the local R4CR staff but also to give them the opportunity to pose their questions in person and receive direct feedback. Due to COVID-19 restrictions each in-person sessions was limited to a maximum of 10 attendees

The official call for proposals started on March 1, 2021 and the deadline to submit a project proposal was on April 2 2021. The incoming proposals are now being evaluated and all applicants will receive a reply within the next 2 weeks.

For more information about the R4CR program or an overview of all current projects please visit www.r4cr.org or the Facebook page (R4CRSXM).

QUICK Jose explaining VOY Foundation

Jose Sommers of R4CR during the information session.

QUICK Rolf explaining

Rolf Hunink of R4CR giving explanations during a info session.

 
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MP Wescot-Williams wants guarantees from Govt for the Uninterrupted Continuation of the Airport Reconstruction

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of Parliament (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams: “I want hard guarantees from Government for the uninterrupted continuation of the airport reconstruction, since they condoned sacking the CEO.” 

Brian Mingo, the CEO of the Princess Juliana International Airport has been fired, with 2 months notice, and relieved of his duties immediately. This act by the Supervisory Holding Board has been long in the making and it would appear the 3-man board now feels strengthened to push through with Mingo’s dismissal,  notwithstanding the warning signs that appeared following their first attempt to dismiss Mingo in December of 2020. 

The airport is at such a crucial stage at this very moment that is seems nearly criminal for anyone to  amateurishly mess with the reconstruction. That the Government of St. Maarten would condone such an act is equally incriminating. 

One would think that the Holding Board would have reconsidered its approach following their blunder in December, but apparently they did not. 

Brian Mingo and the PJIA operating board would have to decide how they respond to this decision of  the Holding Board, but I hold the Government/Shareholder responsible for any and all fallout from this clearly politically motivated decision. 

By (condoning) this act, the Government of St. Maarten is calling into question its dealing with the airport, the dealings of the Holding and those of the operating company and I foresee a fallout that will jeopardize the airport, its reconstruction and the many families who rely on the PJIA for their livelihood. This victory, if considered such, will be short-lived. 

It is impossible to expect that a project that is at such a crucial stage and a player is forcefully removed, will just move along as if nothing happened. Too many stakes and stakeholders are involved for this to just go down and be over with. 

I have questioned the wisdom of this modus operandi by the PJIA Holding Board in December, to which the Prime Minister eventually responded. 

This was her answer: “ …On Thursday, January 21, a virtual confidential meeting was held with the Supervisory Board of Directors and the Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport Holding Company to receive insight on the process that was followed that led to the confidential letter that was sent to the CEO of the Princess Juliana International Operating Company by the Holding. Clarification was provided by each member present. It was established that the questions that were raised by one of the Supervisory Board members were adequately addressed. All individuals agreed to work together  in the best interest of the Airport. Underlying documentation was requested which was recently received and are currently reviewed. The Council of Ministers as Shareholder continues to monitor situation to ensure that the Corporate Governance regulations and guidelines are applied properly.” 

Before I start accusing anyone of misleading Parliament, I offer the Prime Minister to clarify what transpired between the date the above statement was made to parliament and the decision of the Holding Board of April 7, 2021 to dismiss the CEO of the Airport. 

Can the Government assure Parliament and the people  that he decision to fire the CEO will not delay or jeopardize the PJIA, its employees and/or the reconstruction? 

Can the Government assure Parliament that if the current Dutch/EIB financing is halted, there is a backup plan? And thirdly, how involved was the minister or were the ministers in the decision of the Holding Board to dismiss the CEO? 

In addition to these questions, I wish to  repeat my questions of January 11TH to the Prime Minster on this topic and I also look forward to these answers post haste. These questions relate to the Holding’s letter to Mingo in December 2020. 

  1. Please provide me with the Service Agreement between the Airport Operating Board and Mr. B. Mingo. To whom is Mr. Mingo accountable?
  2. What is the vision of this Government for the airport? Please provide this in writing.
  3. Please provide a time line of the airport reconstruction funding, the players in the process and the activities undertaken.
  4. Provide all correspondence with respect to Mr. Mingo’s functioning from ”key” stakeholders.
  5. Who has assessed Mr. Mingo’s functioning? Please provide.
  6. Also provide the airport latest financial data.
  7. Was Mr. Mingo offered a payout? If so, how much and under what conditions? Please provide. 

Clearly with all the pressure on the PJIA project from so many different angles from the onset, something had to give, and this it what that appears to be.   

“I await an urgent and clear  statement from the government of St. Maarten, namely the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, Mrs. S. Jacobs and Minister of TEATT, Ms. L. De Weever.” concluded the MP in her statement.

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MP Duncan Inquires about Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Healthcare and Social Services

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament (MP) Solange Ludmila Duncan sent a letter to the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor inquiring about the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector and in particular mental health and social service provision.

“Covid-19 has not only had a tremendous effect on our economy but also on the mental health of our people. There has been a visible increase in mentally ill persons walking the roads lately. There also appears to be more homelessness since the onset of the pandemic. Government has a responsibility to ensure that our most vulnerable residents receive the full range of welfare services available to them as per the law,” stated Duncan.

On Wednesday 7th April, the Member of Parliament sent a number of questions to the Minister of VSA in order to ascertain the Ministry’s current policies and processes for providing support to persons who are in dire need of mental health and social services.

“Covid-19 has exacerbated the gaps that already existed in our healthcare sector. For persons who have lost both jobs and loved ones due to Covid-19, it is important that they do not remain in emotional isolation. In addition to food programs, we also need social outreach programs,” noted the MP.

“I have also inquired whether the Ministry is monitoring and evaluating the provision of telemedicine and teletherapy. Some patients have not physically seen their doctors in a year. Diagnoses are still being conducted through phone conversations. This has increased efficiency on one end but what will be the general policy moving forward?” added Duncan.

Duncan has also asked the Minister of VSA about budget provision to the Mental Health Foundation and any other organizations who provide social services to the general public.

“With Government’s current financial constraints it will be difficult to increase the amount of services being provided. It is important however to collect as much data as possible on the needs of our people including the varying levels of poverty and vulnerability and the capacities of the social systems in place. I would like to see a State of Health report that will paint a clear picture of the impact of Covid-19 on our entire healthcare sector and possible ways forward,” concluded the MP.

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MP Romou and SMPYA Launches Young Artist & Athlete of the Month Award of Excellence Program

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of Parliament (MP) Angelique Romou in collaboration with the St. Martin Promoting Young Ambassadors foundation have officially launched their monthly Youth Award of Excellence Program where local young artists and athletes will be recognized for their outstanding contributions in the arts and sports.

Using an established selection criteria, MP Romou, Trainers, Teachers, Coaches of the various youth organizations of arts and sports along with the SXM Young Ambassadors will nominate individuals each month. The arts and sports will have nominees every single month.

The awardees will be selected based on the selection criteria. The Youth Excellence award besides the selection criteria given should go to one who sets a good example for others and exhibits the greatest all around attributes of respect, leadership, character and teamwork, which are all attributes of a SXM Young Ambassador.

In February, MP Romou in collaboration with SMPYA recognized Keacy Carty and Reshawn Eustace for their sports achievements and it sparked the initiative to recognize our youth excelling in sports and arts recognized on a monthly basis.  

This month’s awardees come from The National Institute of arts (NIA) and from The Performance Sports Academy (PSA). The Awardees for the month of March 2021 are namely David Herron recognized in the sport of Capoeira, Shanelle Jean in the art of music, Youth Orchestra Trumpet, Mila Grandtner in the art of Dance, Nahya Boasman in the sport of Gymnastics, Dean Swerdel in the sport of Basketball.

Special recognition to Keanu Jacobs-Guishard in the sport of Baseball. Keanu is currently playing for the University of South Florida, Bulls baseball team, Divison-1 Baseball. Keanu made a lasting impression in a game just over a month ago as a freshman in College with his first career homerun that secured the win for his team.

On behalf of the SMPYA, the teachers, coaches and trainers involved in selecting the awardees and myself, we would like to congratulate each recipient this month, your determination, discipline, workmanship and love for your craft is inspirational and we look forward to seeing many more accomplishments locally and internationally because the sky is beyond the limit”.

A special thank you also goes out to all the parents who encourage and support their children every step of the way, your love gives them that extra motivation to excel. MP Romou concluded.

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