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13 INSPECTED DAY CARE CENTERS OPERATIONAL

PHILIPSBURG - After the passing of hurricane Irma all day care centers suffered damage, some more extensive than the other ones and were left without power and potable water.

In accordance with the law, day centers must be able to operate in a safe and healthy manner. Power, being form the grid or through a generator, drinking water, proper ventilation and suitable and safe playground are some of the requirements.

An inspection team consisting of inspectors from the Ministry VSA, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of VROMI have conducted inspections on health, safety, infrastructural and educational aspects. Hazards related to these aspects shouldn’t be present.

Based on these inspections up till today only the following day care centers have been permitted to resume services:

  1. Alexander's Early Stimulation & Development Center - Betty's Estate # 8
  2. Busy Body - Fr. PA Barbanson # 8 – Simpson bay
  3. Brighter Child - Zagersgut lane # 4 - Cul de Sac
  4. Care Bears - Tiger Rd # 10 – Cay hill
  5. Children's World - Hibiscus road # 1 – Saunders
  6. Ebenezer Learning Center - Ebenezer road # 92 - Ebenezer 
  7. Little Explorers - Wesley street # 7 - Cole bay
  8. Lucia's Baby Center Foundation - Defiance road # 6 – Defiance
  9. Rainbow Bright - L. B.  Scott road # 168 - South Reward
  10. Tiny Tots - Maho tree drive - Orange grove
  11. Lucia's Learning Center - Defiance road # 3 - Defiance. 
  12. Ms. Ingrid Home Care - Watling Rd. 11D, Madame Estate
  13. Educare Learning Center -  Pinel Key Dr. 36 - Defiance

 As soon as other day care centers are able to resume services this will be announced.

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Launch Parliament of Sint Maarten official Facebook page

PHILIPSBURG - Parliament of Sint Maarten has launched its official Facebook page, titled: Parliament of Sint Maarten. 


The official launch took place on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 in the conference room at the House of Parliament. Members of the Presidium were present for the launch. 
With this move, Parliament steps into the fascinating and constantly evolving world of social media, with the intention to inform the public more effectively on its day to day operations. This tool will make it easier for the public to have access to updated information from Parliament.


The Facebook page contains essentials such as contact information and opening hours of the Parliament as well as a brief description of the role of Parliament in our society.

Visitors can browse the page to obtain information on upcoming meetings, pending legislation, motions etc. Due to the passing of hurricane Irma, the Annual Report 2016-2017 could not be published on September 11, 2017 as planned. However, this report is now also available on the Facebook page. Features like Facebook live will be utilized to broadcast live meetings in the near future in an aim to reach a wider audience. 

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Relief operation in storm-battered Dominica ‘going in the right direction,’ says UN official

DOMINICA, 3 October 2017 – Two weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, the island nation’s recovery is becoming more evident as the main port has reopened and supplies of food, water and basic necessities are being regularly delivered to the people, a United Nations Resident Coordinator in the region said today, while stressing that are still “major challenges” ahead. 

Briefing reporters at UN Headquarters in New York via telephone from Dominica, Stephen O'Malley, who is the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, said “the [relief] operation is going in the right direction.” 

According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), this is the fifth time on record that Dominica has taken a direct hit from a hurricane, but never has it faced a storm of such ferocity and strength. The hurricane brought life in Dominica to a standstill. 

“What was shocking to me was that the island, which was known as ‘the nature island of the Caribbean,’ was almost totally brown [in the wake of the category 5 storm]. But now, the green has started to come back,” he said, noting that this progress is being matched on the ground, where the situation has begun to stabilize. 

Garbage is now being collected and roads are opening up, noted Mr. O’Malley, adding that power has come back to the capital, Roseau, and a few other locations. 

“We are able to reach almost everybody now, and we are getting food water and basic supplies out to people,” he said, cautioning at the same time that there will certainly be major challenges ahead. 

He explained that the World Food Programme (WFP), working with the Government, distributed 60 metric tonnes of food last week to about 30,000 people, which is about half the population, and that more than 40 UN agency workers are on the ground to help the population. 

The Government has asked the UN to work with it on a logistics plan to ensure regular delivery of relief supplies. “The Government is also focused on its recovery plan,” said Mr. O’Malley, noting that Dominican officials will head to Washington, D.C., and present the details during the Fall Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

“What we need to do now in Dominica is keep up this regular supply of the basics for people. Make sure the electricity comes up; getting people’s water supplies up; and getting markets open again; as well as health centres,” he explained, adding that the Government was also looking at ways to “get the economy off the ground,” especially as the reconstruction effort would be massive. 

He went on to recall that the UN, its partners and the Government has last week launched an emergency appeal for $31.1 million to reach 65,000 people over the next three weeks. 

Responding to a question, he said that looking at the broad swathe of devastation across Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and other islands and territories that were affected by this summer’s series of category five storms, Mr. O’Malley said the recovery, over time, could cost as much as $1 billion, though he stressed there were no exact figures. 

“It's going to be a large-scale rebuilding effort that will take time,” he said.

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French Officials visit the HNLMS Karel Doorman Navy Ship

PORT ST. MAARTEN - His Excellency the Governor of Sint Maarten, drs. Eugene Holiday, hosted a visit aboard the Dutch Navy Ship HNLMS Karel Doorman on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 3.

Representatives of French Saint Martin – Prefete Anne Laubies and 1st Vice President Valerie Damaseau, the Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Mr. R. Plasterk, Prime Minister William Marlin, Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman and the Commander of the Dutch Military in the Caribbean, General Vin, gathered on board before the Commander of the ship, Colonel Schot provided a tour.

His Excellency expressed his appreciation on behalf of government and people of Sint Maarten to all for the effort and support provided during this emergency and he looks forward to continued joint effort as Sint Maarten recover. He specifically emphasized cooperation between Philipsburg and The Hague and Philipsburg and Marigot.

The HNLMS Karel Doorman docked in Point Blanche on Sunday, October 1, with supplies to assist the community with special emphasis on school supplies aimed at the recovery of Sint Maarten.

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Minister of Public Health Emil Lee Reports on Ministry Activities Post Irma

POND ISLAND – “As the reality of the impacts of Irma, Jose and Maria become clearer and the realization of the daunting tasks ahead settle in, it is important for the public to be reminded of the resilience of our people and our beloved country,” Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Emil Lee said in a press statement on Sunday.

“Undoubtedly, there will be many challenging days ahead, all the more reason to make sure we acknowledge the successes and accomplishments as we move to rebuild our country.

“The first responders which included the Police Department, the Ambulance Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA), the Department of Social Services, IVSA and the Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) immediately upon the passing of hurricane Irma went out into the community to ensure that the road to recovery could commence as soon as possible.

“For the past weeks, each district was filled with community spirited - neighbors helping each other get through the debris and the overwhelming destruction. Many persons in our community truly put country above self, and worked non-stop for the people of St. Maarten, even though their house had no roof and all their personal belonging were drenched in rain.

“Clearly, the road ahead is full of challenges and St Maarten won’t be able to rebuild alone.  With initial damage estimates over a billion dollars, St Maarten will need external assistance to ensure a full recovery.  While this list if far from comprehensive, we would like to thank everyone that has helped St Maarten, special recognition for the people and governments of the Netherlands, USA, Aruba, Curacao other Caribbean families, as well as the many organizations such as the Red Cross, Samaritan Purse, Royal Caribbean, ADRA, UN, USAR, Global Medic, MSC, FCCA, PAWA, Spirit Airlines and many other entities. Now is the time for everyone to come together. 

“Despite the challenges and the widespread destruction, within less than 1 week of the passing of Irma family physicians were already open for anyone in need; pharmacies were opening for a period during the day. The goal was to make sure that each district had one family physician and one pharmacy operational. Despite damages, the SMMC and its dedicated staff never stopped servicing the population. 

“By week 2 grocery stores began to open allowing persons to regain access to food, water, and sanitation/hygiene items, electricity and water was being restored, just to name a few of the positives.  It is the little things that made the road to recovery that much better. St. Maarten has done a tremendous job in getting back on its feet. If we were to compare the country’s resilience in 1995 to now, we are doing an amazing job. Clearly previous investments in St Maarten’s infrastructure are paying dividends today.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all staff members at the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor (VSA) as well as all those who have volunteered their services to the country during these trying times. Some of the staff at the Ministry of VSA and volunteers were extremely affected by the passing of hurricane Irma, yet still they came to work to serve the people, and for that we thank you for your dedication, strength and endurance. 

“Many civil servants and volunteers showed up from all parts of the community despite personal hardship and various states of shock with only one question….How can I help?  A special recognition to Joy Arnell and Fenna Arnell is appropriate, as heads of ESF 7 and ESF 6; they had a tremendous amount of responsibility and pressure.  Operating in the harshest of circumstances, without proper communications, they never wavered … they never put their personal circumstances or needs above their responsibilities.  They did an amazing job, I couldn’t be prouder of team VSA!

“The Ministry of VSA plays a critical role in ensuring access to emergency medical services, continuity of health care services, and shelter management. Immediately after the passing of Irma, VSA accepted the responsibility to coordinate all relief aid coming to St Maarten in care of the Government.

“In terms of public health, post-Irma priority was to ensure continuous access to medical services and supplies.  Public health worked with all of the health care providers to ensure they were operational as soon as possible.  All critically ill patients and the dialysis patients were evacuated. Ensured shortages of medical supplies were addressed through the support of donor agencies.

“To date, there have been no alarming increases in public health outbreak and the community is trying their best to clean their surrounding areas from the large amounts of debris which are perfect breeding sites for pests. Additional fogging equipment and insecticides have been requested through the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).

“The Inspectorate of VSA has been heavily involved in safeguarding the quality of health care services being provided, the quality of the water coming out of the distribution network of GEBE, and the food safety of supermarkets, and restaurants which have opened for business post-Irma. All supermarkets and restaurants which have resumed services to the public have been inspected by the Inspectorate of VSA, and continue to be inspected regularly.

“All selling points with frozen food and/or meat where there has been no continuity in cooling and/or freezing capacity in the past days/weeks have been ordered to destroy these consumables under the supervision of the Inspectorate.  Most recently, the inspectorate has been checking various day care institutions and certifying if they are okay to open.

“Collective Preventive Services have been focused on preventing illnesses in the community.  Through public service announcements or PSA’s the Ministry has been working diligently to inform the public on how best to prevent illness.  The Baby Clinics were opened.  The health bus was mobilized 3 days per week visiting different districts in the community securing that vaccination coverage is maintained, services for baby wellness, providing basic medical services as well as providing post traumatic coping information.  Additionally, CPS has been coordinating fogging activities in the different neighborhood to try and reduce the increasing mosquito population.

“From a social perspective, the Ministry of VSA has been busy prepping each shelter, ensuring it was clean, safe and that there were sufficient supplies available. The Ministry was also responsible for coordinating the evacuation of the population.   This effort to support and assist those in our community that have been the most impacted continues.  As Minister, much attention and efforts have been spent on looking for resources both financial and material to support our community.

“Labor Affairs and Social Services are preparing for the labor and social impacts of Hurricane Irma.  Clearly with so many residences and businesses damaged the impact on employment and socially is anticipated to be extreme. 

“The distribution team in collaboration with the Dutch military began immediately as relief goods were available. The strategy consisted of a convoy of military, VKS and volunteers who identified areas for distribution of water and any available food supplies in predetermined areas in the various districts.

“As more vehicles and human resources became available the approach was later enhanced with smaller units (buses and cars managed by volunteers, civil servants, community leaders and organizations) going into the neighborhood and distributing door to door.  Mass distribution of relief goods is by nature not targeted; the team did their best to address the needs of all persons who reached out.

“As we move away from distribution points to targeted distribution, other social programs are being worked on to ensure the most vulnerable in our community can fulfill their basic needs. Namely, through soup kitchens in all districts and a voucher system with the objective to execute the distribution of daily necessities to those in need.  The cooperation and contribution of the retailers on our island is of vital importance to the success of this program, and their commitment received thus far is greatly appreciated.

“Additional assessments are being put in place for the emergency shelter / housing system in collaboration with the Military, VROMI and VSA. A proposal is therefore being evaluated for short- term housing at the Festival village, mid to long-term housing in possible containers, possible repairs to homes with minor or moderate damage and for long-term the building of social housing. As soon as the programs have been developed and approved the public will be notified on where, how, and when assistance through these programs will commence.

“Moving forward, the Minister and Ministry is heavily focused on working on the development of a comprehensive plan on activities of the Ministry to deal with the ongoing impacts social impacts from Irma.  Expectations are that many in our community will need financial assistance.  Securing financial support is top priority for the Ministry of VSA.  Additionally, the Ministry is finalizing a report on activities Pre-Irma including a report for Parliament on activities as well as recommendations on how to improve disaster preparedness.

“Without a doubt, St Maarten will rebuild.   As we look forward, we have an opportunity to reengineer our community… an opportunity not only to build back stronger buildings but to build a stronger society…an opportunity to build a stronger economy.   I have no doubt that St. Maarten will recover and with all hands-on deck…in the words of the St Maarten recovery work group, St. Maarten will build back better,” Minister Emil Lee concludes.  

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MOTORWORLD GROUP OF COMPANIES REMAINS RESILIENT IN ITS RECOVERY EFFORTS TO SERVICE THE COMMUNITY

COLE BAY - Motorworld Group of Companies (MWG), comprised of Motorworld, Dollar/Thrifty Car Rental, Caribbean Auto, and Audi stand resilient as the only automobile dealerships open for business and operational since the recent devastating impacts by hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Maria. 

“Though our companies have sustained millions of dollars in extensive damages, we are progressively working to improve our operations, while providing essential services to our customers,” says Tariq Amjad, MWG’s Managing Director.     

Many of MWG’s dedicated employees have also suffered numerous personal losses. Nonetheless, they continue to rise above the challenges and work diligently daily in order to repair the damages, provide hands-on support to help with rebuilding the companies, and go above and beyond, to be available to service our customers.

All vehicle sales, specials and promotions prior to the storms will be honored, and there are also some post-hurricane sales on new and used vehicles.

Understandably, many customers with vehicles damaged would like to get their vehicles repaired as efficiently and effectively as possible. In particular, Motorworld’s Service, Parts and Body Shop Departments have been diligently engaged in providing urgent repair services, ranging from complete body repair work, to windshield and glass repairs as well as, insurance estimates.

There has been an overwhelming influx of customer requests for insurance estimates. After thorough review of some misunderstandings, Motorworld would like to present customers with transparent information regarding this process.     

  1.          Step 1. Make an Appointment to Get An Estimate:

Making an appointment is the key step to start the process for insurance estimates. This can be scheduled by calling (721) 544-5294, or coming into our showroom to make an appointment in person with one of our Service Advisors.  

  1.          Step 2. Show Up for Your Appointment (as early as possible):

When you arrive on the day of your appointment, you will be provided with a number. Estimates will then be done on a first come, first serve basis. Motorworld has restructured staff throughout various Departments in order to better serve customers and respond to the demand to get estimates done as efficiently as possible.  

Upon your turn, Motorworld’s Service Advisors will introduce you to one of our professionally trained Technicians who will make a thorough assessment of your vehicle, and review all aspects of the damages. This is a detailed and timely process to make a full analysis, as some repairs may require more in-depth technical attention from trained, experienced and certified technicians with the expertise to review your vehicle beyond what the eye, and, non-trained professionals, can see. 

   III.         Step 3: Preparation of an Official Estimate:

After a thorough assessment of the vehicle is made by one of Motorworld’s certified technicians, parts are researched in conjunction with the bodyshop technicians, and the labor required for the repair services is analyzed, an official estimate is prepared, typed and printed. This process may take a few days. The customer will then be called or e-mailed to come in to pick-up their estimate(s).  

With consideration of all the time and work required by Motorworld’s Technicians to prepare estimates, there is a fee for this aspect of the service. This fee ranges from $100 to $250 max, based on the extent of the damages to the vehicle.

It is essentially a deposit to invest towards getting the repairs done, which is the shared objective of Motorworld and its wide range of loyal customers. Please note that this fee is refunded in full once the repairs are done at Motorworld.

The range of fees for estimates is based on the amount of work required by Motorworld’s Professional Technicians to review the damages in fine detail, research the required parts, and then prepare the estimates. “It takes a long time to analyze the entire vehicle, and write down every single part that needs to be replaced, as well as its interconnected components.

This level of detailed work for official estimates can only be done by authorized professionals who are trained to analyze the impact of the damages, and further supported by our technical evaluation systems for a thorough and accurate assessment.

The integrity of our work is trusted among insurance companies and its adjusters,’ shared Jeet Persaud, Director of MWG’s Service Department. “Our highly trained and skilled professionals from the Body Shop take their time to assess the damages on the vehicles. Then, all parts need to be thoroughly researched in the parts catalog by VIN number, because there are various grades of features and trims of different vehicles.

This is a very time-consuming process. With the high demand, many Technicians even sacrifice and go without taking a break to eat lunch. There is a value attached to the investment of their time and they should be paid. In spite of the immense losses, and the poor economic outlook, we are striving to keep everyone employed as our number one priority.” 

“As a committed part of the community of St. Maarten/St. Martin, Motorworld Group of Companies remains resilient and focused on rebuilding our businesses and, our beautiful island. Though the process will take substantial time, work and financial investments, we are working on some innovative strategies for the sustainable redevelopment of our companies,” says Amjad.

“We are also working along with our manufacturers to provide several relief efforts to reinvest back into the recovery of our society and economy in the coming months.”   

More detailed information can be found on the website: www.motorworldsxm.com or on the respective Facebook pages: Motorworld St. Maarten/ St. Martin, or Caribbean Auto St. Maarten/ St. Martin.

Motorworld, Caribbean Auto and Audi are open for business daily from Monday – Friday from 8:00AM – 6:00PM, and on Saturday from 8:00AM – 5:00PM.

For further information, please contact:

Motorworld:               (721) 544-5294

Caribbean Auto:       (721) 544-5211

Audi:                           (721) 544-5211/ 550-5403

motorworld inside

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Dominica: A nation crippled after Maria

SINT MAARTEN/DOMINICA, 29 September 2017 – Emergency supplies from the United Nations food relief agency are being delivered to Dominica as people face “huge challenges in their lives” in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, which ripped through the small Caribbean island last week.

“Dominica has been badly battered and needs to be rebuilt,” said World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Miguel Barreto.

The mountainous island has suffered nearly 30 deaths, about 80 per cent of its buildings damaged and many roads blocked or impaired. 

“We’re working with the Government to support the people who are facing huge challenges in their lives” added Mr. Baretto, who has visited in recent days. 

Some 10 metric tons of WFP high-energy biscuits were transported by ship to the eastern Caribbean island this week and then delivered to communities in the remote interior by helicopter and to coastal communities by boat. 

Overall, WFP plans to provide a range of food assistance to some 25,000 people for three months as it discusses with the Government a system to supply hurricane-affected people with food vouchers to be used in local markets once they reopen. 

WFP is also providing critical logistics, air service and telecommunications support to Dominica and the humanitarian relief response. Its Emergency Telecommunications Team – with expert support from the Ericsson Response Team and the Government of Luxembourg – has set up connectivity in Dominica to some 400 registered users including the Government Emergency Operations Centre, the island’s airports and hospitals, and the Dominican, Venezuelan and French fire brigades. 

Mr. Barreto and the UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados, Stephen O’Malley, visited some of the worst-hit areas and have held discussions with Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. 

“We’ve been talking to the Government about how to help them get their systems up and running again,” said Mr. O’Malley. “People want to go back to their normal lives and we can help them do that.” 

The UN food agency’s emergency efforts are part of a larger UN operation to provide a range of assistance including disaster relief, humanitarian coordination, shelter and water. 

On the logistics side, the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Panama and the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) – both managed by WFP – are providing support to humanitarian partners in Dominica and the region. 

UNHRD has been airlifting critical emergency supplies, including mobile storage units and pallets, tarpaulins, boats, and electric generators while UNHAS has been providing regular flight services to humanitarian workers, government officials and partners.

A nation crippled

For its part, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) pointed out in a press statement that while this is the fifth time on record that Dominica has taken a direct hit from a hurricane, it has never faced a storm of such ferocity and strength. 

One of the Eastern Caribbean’s poorest countries, Dominica’s poverty rate is estimated at 28.9 per cent, or approximately 21,000 people, with some of the hardest-hit parishes also being among the poorest. 

In consultation with the Government, the humanitarian community launched today a Hurricane Maria Flash Appeal for Dominica, asking for $31.1 million to reach 65,000 people over the next three months to address challenges, such as a lack of fresh running water and electricity along with road damage and communication black-outs.

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Help rebuild the Sint Maarten Yacht Club & Sailing School

SIMPSON BAY - The Sint Maarten Yacht Club was established in 1980 with the aim to bring the sailing community on the island together and communally promote the sport of sailing. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was started in the same year as one of the major efforts to accomplish this goal, as well as increasing tourism on St. Maarten.

Over the years the event grew from 12 participating boats to close to 300, making the economic impact for St. Maarten stand out significantly and driving tourism in March when the high season started to come to an end.

With the success of the regatta, the Yacht Club continued to grow and focused on annual local and regional sailing events, as well as a successful youth sailing program that included a sponsor program for local youth that wouldn’t be able to afford lessons otherwise.

In addition, the Club’s social committee grew and brought the community together, planning fundraisers and activities with other organizations such as the yellow and white cross, emphasizing on giving back to the community.

On September 6th St. Maarten lay right in the middle of Hurricane Irma’s monster path and devastation happened. The entire island was smashed, including the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. The docks, deck and fleet got severely damaged or wiped out. As a result, the young students enrolled in sailing lessons as part of our Youth Sailing Program no longer have the opportunity to sail until we rebuild our docks and replace the fleet.

We have organized a temporary solution for the students still on island off Kim Sha Beach, however this significantly reduces the capacity of kids we can take sailing with a limited number of boats. With all the devastation surrounding the children of St. Maarten, we are determined to rebuild and to provide the youth with a positive activity and distraction from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club was established in 1980 with the aim to bring the sailing community on the island together and communally promote the sport of sailing. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta was started in the same year as one of the major efforts to accomplish this goal, as well as increasing tourism on St. Maarten.

Over the years the event grew from 12 participating boats to close to 300, making the economic impact for St. Maarten stand out significantly and driving tourism in March when the high season started to come to an end.

With the success of the regatta, the Yacht Club continued to grow and focused on annual local and regional sailing events, as well as a successful youth sailing program that included a sponsor program for local youth that wouldn’t be able to afford lessons otherwise. In addition, the Club’s social committee grew and brought the community together, planning fundraisers and activities with other organizations such as the yellow and white cross, emphasizing on giving back to the community.

On September 6th St. Maarten lay right in the middle of Hurricane Irma’s monster path and devastation happened. The entire island was smashed, including the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. The docks, deck and fleet got severely damaged or wiped out. As a result, the young students enrolled in sailing lessons as part of our Youth Sailing Program no longer have the opportunity to sail until we rebuild our docks and replace the fleet.

We have organized a temporary solution for the students still on island off Kim Sha Beach, however this significantly reduces the capacity of kids we can take sailing with a limited number of boats. With all the devastation surrounding the children of St. Maarten, we are determined to rebuild and to provide the youth with a positive activity and distraction from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

BEFORE PHOTO:

before yacht club

AFTER PHOTO: 

after sailing sch

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Police rescue two females from apartment fire

CAY HILL - While driving on the A.J.C. Brouwers road around 00.45 a.m. a police patrol saw that a one of the apartments in an apartment complex located behind Kooyman in Cay Hill was on fire.

On the scene, the patrol noticed that onlookers were busy trying to put out the fire. The fire department was immediately called to put the fire out.

Two females staying in the apartment were rescued by police and evacuated immediately. Neither female suffered any injuries. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Evacuees from St. Maarten to Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire to receive assistance

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - The RCN Unit of Social Affairs and Labour will, in regard to the results of hurricane Irma, take several temporary measures for a number of groups of inhabitants of Saba and St. Eustatius, and evacuees of St. Maarten.

The measures concern the right to assistance and child benefit and in addition on work permits. State Secretary Klijnsma empathize with the people who are affected by the hurricane and calls on them to turn to the RCN unit of SZW if they need support!

 

Persons in the Assistance

  • People on social assistance that, do not receive extra allowance, due to full and long-term incapacity or a partial AOV-benefit, can apply for a temporary extra allowance.

 

Residents who lost their income because they have become unemployed

  • Temporary assistance can be applied for by people who have Dutch nationality and lawfully reside on Saba or St. Eustatius, and have lost their income because the company they work by has no more work for them as a result of Hurricane Irma. This also applies to residents with a non-Dutch nationality that live more than five years on Bonaire, Statia or Saba. 

Damage to durable consumer goods

  • Residents who have suffered from loss of durable consumer goods (e.g. bed, gas stove, refrigerator etc.) and who cannot pay for the replacement themselves can apply for special assistance.
  • Special assistance is a provision in kind. Those who are eligible for this do not receive money, but the durable consumer good itself (e.g. bed, gas stove of refrigerator).

Child benefit for children who have been evacuated from St. Maarten
• People can apply for child benefit for children under 18, who have been  evacuated from St. Maarten to Saba, St. Eustatius or Bonaire, who will stay there for an extended period of time and have the Dutch nationality.

Adult inhabitants of St. Maarten who came temporarily to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba.
• Adult inhabitants of St. Maarten who came temporarily to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba and have the Dutch nationality, can apply for general assistance. If they are entitled to this, depends on their financial situation.

Work permits

  • For employers, work permits for certain professional groups can be issued faster (for example, for teachers and construction workers).

The Island Test temporarily does not apply in these cases.

However, the application needs to clarify in a separate letter why this is a case of additional labour as a result of Irma.

Application procedure

Application takes place through a special application form. For as much as possible employees of Social Affairs and Labour and/or officials of the Public Entity will visit persons in their homes. Of course, persons can also visit the offices of Social Affairs and Labour for the purpose of submitting an application.

Important to know:

  • All measures are temporary until January 1st, 2018.
  • Applications must be submitted before January 1st, 2018 at the Unit of Social Affairs and Labour.

Questions?

Social Affairs and Labour has opened a special email address for inquires:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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