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Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard introduced to Council of Ministers

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Last Thursday the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) director, Frank Boots and a delegation paid a visit to the Council of Ministers, the DCCG said in a media statement on Saturday.

During this visit the DCCG director introduced his organization to the Council of Ministers. The delegation, upon invitation of the Prime Minister who proposed the introduction of the Coast Guard to the Council of Ministers in order to increase the awareness of the organization and the mandated objectives.

The DCCG director, Frank Boots gave the introduction of the DCCG through a presentation in which he gave an explanation of the policies, tasks and assets of the organization in the Caribbean and in particular it’s goals for the island of Sint Maarten.

After the presentation at the Government Building there was room for questions from the members of the Council of Ministers. The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Silveria Jacobs and the Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson thanked the DCCG director, Frank Boots and Jocelyn Roberto Levenstone, the Head of the DCCG support station on Sint Maarten for their visit and wished them good luck with continued Coast Guard operations.

During his business trip the DCCG director, Frank Boots also paid a visit to the Governor, Eugene Holiday and the Point Blanche center and a one-on-one meeting with the Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson.

dccg meets com sxm ins1

Members of the Council of Ministers with representatives of DCCG. 

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Ministry of Justice and General Affairs holds first National Youth Delinquency Symposium

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Minister of Justice, Anna Richardson, in collaboration with the Ministry of General Affairs has organized a National Youth Delinquency Symposium with the theme: “A Call to Action; The State of Our Youth.”

The community is invited to join the NYD symposium on the Government of Sint Maarten Facebook page.

Through the symposium the Youth Delinquency Network have been brought together to present and discuss aspects in the area of youth delinquency.

There will be three themes: The State of Youth Delinquency, The Youth Delinquency Network, and The Challenges and Solutions.

This symposium has the determined objective to harness and connect the players within the youth delinquency network, trigger and activate solutions to youth delinquency and to bring awareness for the topic throughout the community.

The informative symposium will be broadcasted LIVE and will begin on this upcoming Monday, September 6th until Wednesday, September 8, from 9am to 12 pm.

The community is asked log onto Face Book/SXMGOV and follow the latest developments regarding the Sint Maarten youths.

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ESL@USM Starts on Monday. Register today

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The University of St. Martin’s (USM) English as a Second Language (ESL) program is slated to start classes on Monday, September 6, 2021.

Interested students, who wish to learn to speak English are encouraged to register at USM or online, so that they can take the level test, which is to ensure they’re properly placed in the correct ESL level.

ESL Basic and Level 1 courses are 72-hour programs. Each class is held 3x a week for 2 hours over a period of 12 weeks. The program encourages students, through an immersion process, to learn the language through different methods, such as using a translator app on their cell phones, to be understood.  

Previous students expressed their happiness at being able to better understand and speak the English Language, while others noted the importance of continuing to achieve fluency and proficiency.

The ESL program has 5 levels (Basic, 1, 2, 3, 4). 

Students receive instruction in: 

-       Reading

-       Writing

-       Listening Comprehension

-       Oral activities

-       Grammar and vocabulary

Upon successful completion of a level, students have the option to continue to higher levels. 

ESL Basic and Level 1  classes are set to start as of Monday, September 13, 2021, at 5:30pm. However, level testing will start as of September 6 and continue to take place until Thursday, September 9, at 4:00pm. 

Interested persons can email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call USM directly at 542-5171 for more information.

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COME Restarts Senior Citizens In Action Program on Friday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Community Outreach Mentorship & Empowerment Center (COME Center) will be restarting its Senior Citizens In Action (Senior CIA) program this Friday, September 3, 2021.

After a 15-months break, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COME Center is ready to welcome its clients back to their regular meeting place.

This program was established in April 2012, and we currently have a membership of between 35 to 45 clients. The seniors expressed their excitement about the fact that the Center will once again open its doors, every Wednesday and Friday, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM, allowing them to socialize with their peers in a warm and wholesome environment.

A regular day includes having breakfast and sharing new experiences, devotion, exercise, partaking in a healthy warm meal, playing games, and enjoying a snack just before they leave for their homes.

The Board and management of COME Center look forward to serving the elderly citizens of our country.

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Thijs Verheul appointed Commander General of the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - As of the first of September 2021, Thijs Verheul has been appointed as the new General Commander of the Dutch Caribbean Fire Department (BKCN).

Verheul's predecessor, Interim General Commander Wouter Zitter, has said farewell to the corps.

Thijs Verheul (58) comes from the Safety Region South-east Brabant, where he gained more than 25 years of experience in the fire service. He has also worked for the European Commission as secretary to the European Delegation in Pakistan. Mr Verheul will lead the force for a period of 3-5 years. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Population forecast Caribbean Netherlands 2021-2050

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS (Corina Huisman and Coen van Duin) - Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has generated a new population forecast for the municipalities of the Caribbean Netherlands. This memorandum describes the main results and differences relative to the previous forecast of 2020.

This population forecast update includes recent data. This additional information mainly affects the expectations for immigration and emigration. New estimates have been made of the return behaviour of migrants. In the previous forecast these were still based on migration data over the period up to and including 2017, now up to and including 2020. Additionally, the age patterns of immigrants and emigrants have been re-estimated on the basis of these new data.

The new forecast expects a lower ageing rate on the islands than the previous forecast. According to the new forecast, a larger part of the immigrants from the European Netherlands will leave again, as a result of which the proportion of elderly people on the islands will show a lower increase. The population is expected to increase from 27 thousand at present to 31 thousand in 2030. Last year's forecast expected just under 32 thousand residents in 2030.

Migration assumptions, coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic has been affecting migration figures since March 2020. It seems to have restricted both the emigration of persons born in the Caribbean Netherlands and the immigration of persons born outside the Caribbean Netherlands. Net migration (immigration minus emigration) for 2021 is expected to be approximately 200 lower than it would have been without the pandemic.

It is expected that this decrease will be temporary. It is assumed that the restricting impact of the pandemic on the emigration of persons born in the Caribbean Netherlands will have decreased to approximately one-third by 2023 and will have disappeared by 2024. This is also assumed regarding immigration from the European Netherlands. It is assumed that immigration from other countries outside the former Netherlands Antilles will remain lower for a slightly longer period of time. The economic impact of the pandemic on, for instance, tourism can be more lasting, which may limit the demand for foreign workers. It has been assumed that the restrictive effect on immigration among this group will halve until 2023 and will have disappeared by 2025. It seems that already in 2021, immigration from Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten will no longer be restricted by the pandemic.

RCN Picture5 SAB

RCN Picture6 SAB

Migration assumptions, longer term

According to the new estimates, a larger part of the immigrants born in the European Netherlands will eventually leave again: 91 percent, versus 75 percent in the forecasts of 2019 and 2020. Immigrants who have already resided in the Caribbean Netherlands for several years, appear to be emigrating after all more often than according to earlier estimates. Also among immigrants from Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten the revised percentage of people leaving is higher (66 percent instead of 50 percent). For immigrants from other countries, the expectation for the share which will leave again has, on the contrary, been slightly reduced (76 percent instead of 80 percent). The expectation for the proportion of emigrants born in the Caribbean Netherlands who eventually return has also been lowered: from 57 percent to 54 percent.

The age patterns of immigrants and emigrants have changed in recent years and have therefore been re-estimated for this update. In the forecasts of 2019 and 2020, data over the years 2011-2017 were used to estimate these patterns, which now have been updated to 2015-2019. The main revision regarded the emigration age patterns. According to the new estimate, a smaller proportion of the emigrants are in their twenties and a larger proportion are middle-aged or elderly.

Just as in the forecasts of 2019 and 2020, net migration is assumed to be zero as of 2050, so annually as many immigrants as emigrants. Between 2030 and 2050 it is assumed that net migration will gradually decrease to zero.

RCN Picture3 SEU

RCN Picture4 SEU

Mortality assumptions

Since the start of the pandemic, 17 deaths due to coronavirus have been registered in the Caribbean Netherlands (as at 26 July 2021). The 2020 forecast assumed only a limited number of additional deaths due to COVID-19 per annum because of the young population of the islands and because until May 2020 a higher mortality rate was not yet visible. In 2020, the total number of deaths in the Caribbean Netherlands was 19 higher than expected. Also for 2021, it is expected that the mortality rate will be slightly higher due to COVID-19. For the years thereafter, just as in the previous forecast, it is assumed that the mortality risks for residents of the Caribbean Netherlands will decrease at the same pace as for residents of the European Netherlands. For St Eustatius, the number of deaths is expected to be lower in the longer term than in the 2020 forecast. This is due to the revised migration assumptions, as a result of which a smaller rise in the number of elderly persons on the island is expected.

The number of births in the Caribbean Netherlands was 33 higher in 2020 than expected in the forecast. Expectations regarding the final number of children per woman in the Caribbean Netherlands have therefore also been adjusted slightly upwards. For Bonaire and St Eustatius, a larger number of residents aged around 30 is expected in the longer term than in the previous forecast, also resulting in a higher number of births. This is due to the fact that the age patterns of migrants have changed over the past few years, which has been included in the new forecast.

RCN Picture1 BON

RCN Picture2 BON

Population forecast

In the period from 1 January 2011 to 1 January 2021, the number of residents in the Caribbean Netherlands rose from 21 thousand to 27 thousand. That comes down to a growth of some two and a half percent per year. The forecast expects a population of 31 thousand in 2030, i.e. a population growth of 1.6 percent per year. In the forecast, growth will come to a halt around 2050. By that time the Caribbean Netherlands are expected to have almost 34 thousand residents.

Of the three islands, Bonaire has shown the strongest population growth since 2011. The forecast also expects the strongest growth for Bonaire: from 22 thousand in early 2021 to 27 thousand in 2030 and 28 thousand in 2050. St Eustatius is expected to grow from 3.1 thousand residents in early 2021 to 3.7 thousand in 2050. Saba is expected to grow from 1.9 thousand to 2.3 thousand residents.

The previous forecast expected a population for Bonaire in 2050 which was approximately 700 higher than according to the new forecast. For St Eustatius, the population in the previous forecast was approximately 200 residents higher, for Saba 100 higher.

The number of residents in the Caribbean Netherlands born there or in one of the islands of Aruba, Curaçao or St Maarten is expected to remain at roughly the current level of 56 percent until 2030. Roughly 14 percent of the residents were born in the European Netherlands and 30 percent elsewhere. This too is expected to remain the same until 2030. In the years thereafter, the proportion of residents born in the former Netherlands Antilles or the European Netherlands will decrease slightly according to the forecast and the proportion of residents born elsewhere will increase by 3 percentage points. In the 2020 forecast, the proportion of European Dutch nationals in 2030 was approximately 2 percentage points higher and the proportion of residents born elsewhere was 2 percentage points lower than in the new forecast.

The population of the Caribbean Netherlands is ageing. At the beginning of 2021, 13 percent of the population of the Caribbean Netherlands were 65 years or older. The proportion of this group will increase according to the forecast. For 2030, 19 percent of the population is expected to comprise people aged 65 and over; for 2050, this is 28 percent. Because according to the new forecast, a larger part of the immigrants from the European Netherlands will leave again, the proportion of elderly people in the new forecast will show a lower increase than in the previous forecast. The 2020 forecast expected that 20 percent of the population would comprise people aged 65 and over in 2030 and 30 percent in 2050.

RCN Picture8 CN Pop Composition

RCN Picture9 CN Pop Composition by Age

 

Sources

Customised table (forecast 2021-2050):

https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/maatwerk/2021/31/bevolkingsprognose-caribisch-nederland-2021-2050

Explanatory memorandum (forecast 2020-2050)

https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/achtergrond/2020/41/bevolkingsprognose-caribisch-nederland-2020-2050

Customised table (forecast 2020-2050):

https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/maatwerk/2020/41/bevolkingsprognose-caribisch-nederland-2020-2050

Article containing a more detailed description (forecast 2019-2050):

https://www.cbs.nl/nl-nl/achtergrond/2019/31/bevolkingsprognose-caribisch-nederland-2019-2050

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Traffic situation on L.B. Scott Road at rush hour

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM has spent the first weeks of this new school year monitoring/regulating the traffic flow in and around Cul-De-Sac, the main school district of Sint Maarten.

Led by Inspector H.H. Roumou, the “bike-team” has monitored the systematic flow of traffic in and out of St. Peters, South Reward, and surrounding areas. The group has also looked for best possible strategies to minimize inconvenience to bus drivers and parents dropping children off at school.  

KPSM reminds motorcyclists who continue dropping off their children to school while not wearing a motorcycle helmet or with two or more children on the motorcycle to consider this could be potentially dangerous for you as the motorcyclist, your children, and/or for ther road users.

Some safe driving tips:

  • Focus on driving - Keep your full attention on driving at all times, no multitasking.  
  • Do not use your phone or any other electronic device while driving.
  • Slow down. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.
  • Drive defensively! - Be aware of what other drivers around you are doing and expect the unexpected. Assume other motorists will do something crazy; always be prepared to avoid it.
  • Be aware of other types of road users, such as scooter riders, cyclists and pedestrians.

KPSM thank the community for its efforts and cooperation during the busy morning hours on the roads and in the school areas. (KPSM)

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23 Safety Emergency Teams of schools attend Safe school training

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - 23 of the 24 Safety and Emergency Teams (SETs) of our Primary and Secondary school were trained as part of the School Safety Initiatives of the Ministry of Education, Culture Youth & Sport.

The 1-day “Safe School Virtual Training” was aimed to support School Safety Teams in the implementation of the school safety guidelines, providing basic disaster risk management knowledge as well as guidance on carrying out risk assessment and develop or update school safety & emergency plans.

At the end of the training, participants acquired skills to recognize the importance of school safety; differentiate the concepts of hazards, vulnerability, risk and resources as they relate to disaster risk management; apply tools to assess school safety of a given facility; and develop or update a School Safety & Emergency Plan.

The training of the Safety & Emergency Teams (SETs) started on June 17 and concluded on August 19, 2021, to allow for all schools to register for the training. The training was executed by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) in collaboration with UNICEF The Netherlands, financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the Sint Maarten Trustfund as part of the Child Resilience and Protection project (CRPP).

In 2018, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) developed the “Safety and Emergency Response Guidelines for Schools” with the support of UNICEF The Netherlands. This document provides guidance for disaster safety planning in schools, emphasizing the work to be carried out by School Safety Teams (SETs). It also outlines the do’s and don’ts before and during emergencies, suggesting possible steps for various hazards. SETs went on to draft their school safety & emergency plans under the guidance of the Student Support Services Division and with the support of UNICEF the Netherlands.

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Graduates at Autonomous University of Santo Domingo receive Africa in My Skin by Rafael Nino Féliz

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau was presented to Dominican Republic university graduates by the book’s author Rafael Nino Féliz.

The political science graduates from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), each received the trilingual poetry book at the main campus on August 9, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The author said that the collection is “a poetic journey about the African origins of the inhabitants of the Americas,” focusing on the Caribbean with poems about the nations he visited, from Haiti in the northern flank of the Caribbean Sea to Curacao in the southern part of the archipelago.

Féliz is also an essayist and UASD educator. The Spanish, English, and French edition of Africa in My Skin was published in St. Martin by HNP last June. The presentation to the students was facilitated by Adonis Martín, director of the UASD School of Political Science.

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EC2 Saba hosts 10th anniversary event

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Expertise Center Education Care on Saba, better known as EC2, recently hosted a special event to commemorate the organization’s 10th anniversary, to celebrate receiving the ‘Appeltje van Oranje’ award, to bid farewell to six team members and to welcome six new team members.

EC2 is Saba’s specialized organization to provide supporting services to schools for students and teachers in case of a specific care question. Since this schoolyear, EC2 also offers specialist care arrangements, catered to the individual needs of students.

EC2 was founded in 2011 by current Director Henriette “Jet” van Heijnsbergen. Through her relentless input and that of the board members and team members, EC2 grew from one fulltime employee (FTE) in 2011 to 10 FTE in 10 years, giving assistance to more children and further professionalizing the organization and the care that it provides.  

On June 1, 2021, EC2 won an ‘Appeltje van Oranje’ award (Orange Apple Award) of the Oranje Fund in the Netherlands with its Ways to Wellbeing project. During the special event on August 21, the award was presented to the invited guests and the Saba people. Director Van Heijnsbergen thanked the entire EC2 team, (past) colleagues and coaches for their dedication, inspiration, and support.

Ways to Wellbeing is a multi-faceted approach to nurture the mental wellness of vulnerable students facing challenges by developing four key dimensions of wellness: intellectual, emotional, social and physical. EC2 started Ways to Wellbeing to help the special needs, vulnerable children cope with trauma after the big 2017 hurricanes, the current COVID-19 pandemic, and challenges with isolation, stress within their family, bullying, unaddressed learning issues and family displacement.

During the event, EC2 said goodbye to six team members: Youth Development Specialist/Psychologist Rayann Ramdin, Speech & Language Specialist Esmeralda “Essie” van Hoek, Occupational Therapist D’Antoinette “Dee” Sorton, Behavior Coach Quirine Hakkaart and Personal Education Assistants LeShayne Charles and Esmelysa Solano Garcia.

Six new team members were welcomed: Psychologist Stacey Gomez from Trinidad, Speech & Language Specialist Che’vonne James from St. Maarten, Behavior Coach Fleur Kregting from the Netherlands, Special Education teacher Ann Jeffrey from Sint Maarten and Personal Education Assistants Claire Mandolado and Olivia Johnson from Saba.

During her speech, Director Van Heijnsbergen several times referred to the EC2 logo, which is a kite. For the 10th anniversary, a balloon with 10 has been added to the logo. Since its start, EC2 has had a kite in its logo because it stands for three important qualities: playfulness, movement and its ability to rise to great heights. As for the first quality, Van Heijnsbergen said that whatever the issue, the EC2 team starts from the perspective of the student, incorporating play and action in the sessions.

The second quality has to do with movement and how EC2 responds to that: with children all being different, with their own individual talents and needs, EC2 has to be flexible and adapt. And, thirdly, a kite can soar and rise to unexpected heights once steered properly in the wind making the best use of external factors. Therefore, EC2 plans and accommodates for students while taking their home situation and other factors into consideration.

The event on August 21 was opened by EC2 board member Madelyn Johnson. Interim-principal of the Sacred Heart Primary School Willem-Jan van Hest completed the festive evening with a toast for the EC2 team, past and present, the EC2 board as well as the students and teachers.

Appeltje van Oranje with Rayann and Jet

EC2 Director Henriette “Jet” van Heijnsbergen (right) and psychologist Rayann Ramdin (left) with the ‘Appeltje van Oranje’ award that EC2’s project Ways to Wellbeing won on June 1 this year.

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