Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (2669)

Attention for action against domestic violence and child abuse is still necessary

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Active efforts have been made with the “E no ta stòp di mes” project and the awareness campaign for all chain partners involved from the care sector, judicial authorities and the public entities Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius to address domestic violence and child abuse more strongly.

Since the start of the project in February 2018, project leader Justine Verschoor has been working on strengthening the collaboration within the chain, increasing the expertise of professionals and increasing the awareness of citizens in the Caribbean Netherlands regarding this difficult topic. The 18-month project was financed by the Ministry of Justice and Security.

Promotion of expertise

Staff of the different aid agencies in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba have taken several trainings. The Kas Sigur training focuses on the perpetrator, in which it mainly aims to prevent a repeat of violence. The Signs of Safety training is a method aimed at making safety agreements with victims/clients, mainly focusing on children.

This assures an unambiguous and professional approach towards citizens. Project staff in all three islands recently took the ‘Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Worker’ training. The purpose of this training is that after having obtained their certificate, participants will be able to support and inform their colleagues within their organisations in cases of suspicion of domestic violence and child abuse.

Awareness campaign

The Communications department of Rijksdienst CN organised an awareness campaign in collaboration with the public entities. The campaign was launched in November and was introduced to the press by Sander Dekker, Minister for Legal Protection, who was staying on Bonaire at the time. Different communication tools, including short films, have been used via social media to raise awareness of domestic violence. (link to short films)

Chain collaboration

Employees of different organisations involved in this project have started collaborating intensively in complex practical cases. The employees are currently dealing with 19 cases.

The coordination of the required assistance to clients between the agencies has improved. Furthermore, one agency has been appointed as director per case so that the assistance will become more transparent for the client. The parties concerned who applied for help (often via the Victim Assistance Office) have received support.


The project which was initiated by the Ministry of Justice and Security is complementary to the Administrative Agreement which the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport concluded with the public entities in 2017.

The purpose of this agreement is to realise an adequate and sustainable approach on addressing domestic violence and child abuse on the islands.

The project means a big step in the right direction now that concrete results have been achieved in above-mentioned areas.

The activities aimed at strengthening action against domestic violence and child abuse on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius will be continued and expanded by the public entities in the context of the Administrative Agreement. Continual efforts and attention remain required to reduce domestic violence and child abuse. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Amuseum Naturalis Celebrates a Year at The Old House

SAINT MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) - The public is invited to stop by Amuseum Naturalis for an end-of-season happy hour from 4-6pm this Saturday, July 20th. The Amuseum will be celebrating one year at The Old House in French Quarter and the end of the season. After Saturday, the Amuseum will be closed until October.

“It's hard to believe we launched Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House just a year ago,” said Jenn Yerkes, President of Les Fruits de Mer, the association behind the Amuseum. “So many people helped transform the place into a museum, and we’ve had so many great experiences with visitors, school groups and summer camps. We look forward to finishing this fantastic year with a fun happy hour!”

Amuseum Naturalis opened at The Old House on July 22, 2018. Since then, the Amuseum has had over 6,000 visitors. Over 2,000 kids visited with schools, youth groups and summer camps. 

Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of the nature, history and culture of St. Martin and the Caribbean, created by the Les Fruits de Mer association. It is located at the historic Old House in French Quarter on the hill above Le Galion. It is an all-volunteer project, and over 300 people have spent over 5,000 hours to create and operate the Amuseum.

Amuseum Naturalis will be open from 9am to noon Tuesday to Saturday until July 20th, and admission is free. It is located at The Old House, on the hill above Galion Beach in French Quarter. It will re-open in October. More information is available at

Amuseum Naturalis SUN1407

Amuseum Naturalis is hosting a happy hour on Saturday to celebrate one year of operations at The Old House.

Volunteers 1 SUN1407

Over 300 people have volunteered to help build Amuseum Naturalis.



TelTV New York Prize is dream come true for mom Marinka, and son Christopher

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Mom and son, Marinka Gumbs and Christopher Rogers, were over the moon Thursday when a TelTV crew made a personal call at her Betty’s Estate home to announce that mom was the winner of the TelTV all-expenses paid trip to New York.

The Senior Consultant at GrantThornton, was caught completely by surprise thanks to some behind-the-scenes plotting by the TelTV crew and Marinka’s own mum - who kept the secret right to the moment of announcement.

Markina subscribed as a new customer to TelTV during the special introductory offer in July and like scores of others was entered into a raffle contest, not giving a second thought to the raffle prize that was part of the promotion.

The new subscriber said she was attracted by the Triple Play offer which added TV to landline and mobile services she already had with TelEm Group.

“It made good sense to have everything in one package and it was also an offer that was too good to miss,” continued Marinka.

“Thank you TelEm and TelTV,” said a grateful Marinka after catching her breath and after being presented with the ticket for the trip from KK Travel’s Managing Director, Krisha Khemchandani.

“Congratulations to you both. I am very happy to see how pleased you are with your prize, and that KK Travel and TelTV together can bring you some joy and we hope, a fantastic vacation break, “said Krisha, recognizing that the raffle win could not have come at a better time for mom and son.

The TELTV top prize winner said she had resigned herself to a “Staycation” holiday with the family and son Christopher, because the resources were just not there to take a trip New York as she had hoped.

“Now I can take the trip with Christopher. It’s really a dream come true,” said Marinka.

The prize presentation was made Thursday by TelTV representatives, Cheryl Rismay and Naeem Dupersoy, both of whom also congratulated the lucky winners.

“It ended up being a happy end to this promotion with a well-deserved winner,” said Cheryl.

She said it was a joy to see the expression of surprise and joy on Marinka’s face when she opened the door and saw the TelTV crew waiting outside with the good news.

Meantime TelEm Group says subscribers to TelTV are continuing to grow as more and more homes and commercial properties throughout the island are completing restoration and repairs.

“We recently transformed an area in the main building lobby into a “Home theatre” so that customers and families could come and experience what viewing of TelTV would be like in their home. This attracted a lot of interest and many new subscribers in the process,” said Sales & Marketing Officer, Cheryl.

Cheryl says the promotion far surpassed sales targets by the time it closed.

“It is very exciting news for us and leaves us encouraged by this clear indication that our subscribers are putting their trust in us to deliver this new TV service to them. We are proud and grateful for that trust,” said Cheryl.

The Sales & Marketing Officer said TelTV promotions will continue throughout the year and urged customers to look out for them and to take advantage when these offers and promotions pop up again.


80% of St. Dominic High School IB Candidates Qualify for a Diploma

SINT MAARTEN (SOUTH REWARD) - On July 6, 2019, fifteen students of the St Dominic High School International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme received the results from their May 2019 examinations.

This year 12 of the 15 (80%) IB Diploma candidates met the requirements to be awarded the internationally recognized IB Diploma. 

Lee-Ann Wyatt who will study Communication Sciences at University of Amsterdam scored the highest with a cumulative score of 33 points out of a possible 45. Noteworthy performances were demonstrated by the following candidates: Himanshu Kapoor and Georgia Nelson both scored 32 points and received a perfect grade 7 in the subject Business Management HL.  Himanshu has been accepted to study Physical Therapy and Business Management at Wilfried Laurier University in Ontario. Georgia Nelson will attend Tilburg University and study Sociology. Rafael Tapia Chaca performed well scoring 32 points and he was the only candidate who received 2 bonus points for Theory of Knowledge and his English Literature Extended Essay. Rafael will attend Tilburg University majoring in Psychology and English Literature.

According to the Diploma Programme Coordinator Ms. Marie Richardson: “These students are well-prepared to face the academic and social challenges of university and the world of work. It has been two years of improving their interpersonal skills such as communication, balancing, and open-mindedness. They are now equipped with the ability to embrace their strengths and understand their weaknesses in order to support their learning and personal development in order to create a better and more peaceful society. I am excited that this year St Dominic High School surpassed the world-wide averages in Business Management HL/SL, Spanish B SL/HL, History SL, Biology SL, and Mathematical Studies SL. Kudos are well-deserved.”

According to the 2019 IB Diploma Programme Provisional Statistical Bulletin, 166,278 students around the world sat the May session exams. The St Dominic High IB candidates who received the diploma this session achieved an average score of 29 which is in line with the global mean diploma point score of 29.63.

Dr. Siva Kumari, the IB General Director, expressed the following when IB results were released:

“I extend heartfelt congratulations to students worldwide receiving their results today. They have shown a thirst for knowledge, a determination to succeed and a conviction in their ability to take on their next best step equipped with high quality preparation.”

St Dominic High is one of 3,352 schools offering the Diploma Programme. The IB Diploma Programme is a rigorous and academically challenging pre-university curriculum where students select and study six subjects from five groups – literature, foreign language, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics. In order to qualify for the diploma, students must complete the following core requirements: a 4,000 word Extended Essay (EE), the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course which examines how knowledge is acquired and the various kinds of knowledge that exists, Creativity, Activity Service (CAS) requiring students to engage in the arts, sports and the community. The Diploma Programme was designed to not only address the academic needs of each student, but also to target the students’ social, emotional and physical well-being in order to give them the skills to be successful contributive citizens and members of our global community.


New Dutch Passenger Information Unit to check Air Passenger Data

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - Airlines are now required to share their passenger data of all flights arriving in and departing from the Netherlands with a newly established passenger information unit (Pi-NL).

This unit will provide greater insight into travel movements. It should contribute to preventing, detecting and prosecuting serious crime and terrorism. The legislative proposal following from European agreements that Dutch Minister Grapperhaus submitted to the Dutch Senate was adopted in June.
Pi-NL will process the data and share them with authorised bodies such as the police if necessary. This unit, which is part of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee, falls under the responsibility of the Minister of Justice and Security.

In drafting the legislative proposal, Minister Grapperhaus carefully weighed the importance of combating terrorism against the privacy interests of passengers. The bill therefore contains a number of guarantees. For example, there is a restriction on how long the data can be kept for; no special personal data, such as religion or ethnic origin, may be processed; and the sharing of data with other countries is subject to stringent conditions. An official especially appointed to this end will supervise compliance with the legal rules. The Dutch DPA will also provide independent supervision.

The Dutch Minister Grapperhaus said: 'If we know more about where and when criminals and terrorists are travelling, we will be able to catch them more quickly. Before submitting this bill, I weighed up the security and privacy concerns carefully. In my view, the Netherlands should get moving on this as quickly as possible, not only because I am convinced that it will make our country more secure, but also because I am convinced that we will handle these data with care and that they will only be used for the purpose for which they are intended: preventing and detecting terrorism and serious crime.'


USM and The Hague University signs Institutional Collaborations MoU

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – With hopes of creating joint degree programs in Business Administration and other areas of study, the University of St. Martin (USM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS) on Thursday, to formalize an intent on institutional collaboration.

The agreement, initiated by former USM President Francio Guadeloupe prior to Hurricane Irma in 2017, was originally intended to serve as the basis of a 2+2 programme, whereby students from Sint Maarten would complete two years at USM and then move to The Hague in order to complete their degree.

Since taking on the USM presidency in 2018, Antonio Carmona Báez has pushed for negotiations on joint courses and degree programs.

“We are currently developing a course on Contemporary Caribbean Business which will be available to Dutch students as well. We look forward to collaboration and exchange of students and faculty,” said Carmona in written statements to the press.

This agreement will not only allow Sint Maarteners to go to the Netherlands for one year of study and/or internships but also encourage them to return and complete their degree on Sint Maarten and search for jobs at home.

The so-called brain-drain, which Sint Maarten and other Caribbean countries suffer, is thought to be mitigated by this sort of collaboration that is supported by the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten and encouraged by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (OCW).

Founded in 1989, USM was established on Sint Maarten as a university of applied sciences (HBO) that offers degrees in Hospitality and Business and is the first institution of the Kingdom officially recognized to offer Teacher Education in the English language.

THUAS (also known as de Haagse Hoogeschool) offers English language undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) degrees which attract many students from the Caribbean side of the Kingdom.

Head of USM Business Department Jan van Beek and International Business Administration Programme Director Rogier Busser expressed satisfaction with the signing of the MoU.

“The time has come to formalize relations between two very important partners in tertiary education. Today we are looking at Business, tomorrow we can look at other areas of study, like Safety and Security and Public Management,” said Van Beek.

The signing of the MoU took place at the Sint Maarten House and was witnessed by Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite, OCW Caribbean Desk Director Aldrik in het Hout, USM President Carmona and Caribbean Historian and Strategic Advisor THUAS Anna Maria Andriol.

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Representatives of THUAS and USM after signing the MoU.



BBC 42nd Vacation Bible School Kicks Off on Monday

SUCKER GARDEN - Another summer and it is time for another week of Vacation Bible School at The Bible Baptist Church on Arch Road, Sucker Garden.  Bible Baptist Church, for more than 40 years, parents and children have been looking forward for the week of Vacation Bible School.  We are one of the few churches that still offers this program for FREE. The entire event is free and there is NO charge to register.

Vacation Bible School is always a highlight of our church, it helps us serve and minister to the children of St. Maarten. Not only is it a time for us to enjoy the children of our church, but also to reach out to other children and their families in our community.

Vacation Bible School this year is from Monday, July 15 through Friday, July 19 and it is themed “ShipwreckedRescued by Jesus”.  During this time, the students get to experience and learn about God in a very creative way.

This year, we’ll use examples of Jesus and cause those attending to experience the impact Jesus had on the thousands of lives He touched, teach them how to overcome everyday life situations, and try to inspire spiritual growth by faith through dealing with situations concerning obedience, harmony, trust and submission to God.

Then we spend time in creative expression: The students express their love for God and values taught through song, dance, games, and mime.  Exciting new songs are taught, God-inspired choreographers teach movements that speak to today’s child, and during craft time the students get a hands-on opportunity to create.  Students and food go hand in hand for this reason a tasty snack is served everyday.

We are privileged and praise God for trained and qualified counselors and volunteers.  They are able to deal with most of the challenges that our students face today.  Yes, even at Vacation Bible School children who deal with a lot issues attend.  Our trained workers know this and are prepared to handle every situation. 

Therefore, with open arms and heart we invite all the youths of St. Maarten, ages 4 - 16 to join us this year at the Bible Baptist Church on Arch Road, Sucker Garden. It all starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 1:00 p.m.

To close off the week we showcase to parents and friends what the students learned.  The “Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus” showcasing will take place on Friday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m. at The Bible Baptist Church, on Arch Road Sucker Garden.  You will not want to miss it.  The students recite, sing, dance, and act.  It will be a grand time.

We do have busses driving through most districts of Dutch St. Maarten.  Parents can also drop and pick up their children.

Registration forms are available from church members or at the church during regular service time.  The is no Registration fee for the entire week. 

For more information, do not hesitate to contact us: Alia Young-Mathew at 527-0125 or the pastor Dr. James Young at 553-4307 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Woman confronts truck thief on Wednesday morning

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) detectives are presently investigating a theft with the use of violence, police said in a statement on Wednesday. This incident took place on Wednesday July 10th at approximately 1.45 A.M. on Well road in Cole Bay.

According to reports the female victim while removing items from the pick-up truck belonging to her partner, she for a short period left the vehicle unattended to take the items into the house.

During her absence she heard a noise coming from the pick-up. When she looked outside, she saw an unknown man dressed in very dark clothing attempting to steal the vehicle. She immediately ran back to the pick-up to obstruct the suspect from taking the vehicle.

At that point the suspect started to fight with the victim and pushed her away from the vehicle. The suspect then used the keys which were left in the door of the vehicle to start the vehicle.

He then drove away with the pick-up. While driving away the suspect collided with another vehicle that was parked in the area. The vehicle that was taken is a dark Blue Kia K2700 with license V-740 double cabin and tinted windows.

Anyone who have information about the vehicle, or the suspect should immediately get in contact with the police department by calling. 54-22222 ext. 213/214 the anonymous tip-line #9300 or the emergency number 911. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


State Secretary Van Veldhoven to visit Caribbean Netherlands

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - State Secretary Van Veldhoven (Infrastructure and Water Management), will pay a working visit to Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire from July 14th to July 18th. The focus during this visit is mainly on the efforts in the field of the environment to keep the islands clean and livable.

The journey starts with a working visit to Saba. There the State Secretary will have meetings with the Island Governor and some members of the Executive Council. The State Secretary then pays a working visit to the new hurricane-resistant waste incineration plant and separation hall. On the second day on St. Eustatius visits will also be paid to environmental projects and the oil terminal NuStar. There will also be meetings about waste management with the Government Commissioner and his deputy.

The working visit to Bonaire is focused on waste policy, fireworks, the coral action plan and fuels. The State Secretary closes the largest illegal dump of The Caribbean Netherlands, carries out the start of the construction of a new, safe fireworks storage place and gives the go-ahead for asbestos remediation at a former shrimp farm.

On all three islands agreements are made on working together to put an end to the use of disposable plastic, in order to keep the islands clean and livable and to preserve the unique nature. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


RADEX BCMS features multi-biometric enrollment and search

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - RADEX BCMS makes it possible for immigration officers to investigate a person entering the country more thoroughly, by using a multi-biometric enrollment and search system. 

A person can be searched on his/her biometric features (face and 10 fingers) in national and international ‘wanted lists’. If the person is found in the database, the record of the person can be used for further investigation. On the other hand, if the person is not found in the database, the person can be enrolled by using his/her biometric features.  

RADEX BCMS can capture a face- and ten fingerprints scan of a person. By the click of one button, the biometric enrollment procedure starts with the capturing of the selected biometric feature. Using an advanced intuitive wizard, the system will capture a face scan of the person and a fingerprint scan of the four fingers and thumbs of each hand. The application wizard automatically indicates whether the person needs to change the position of his/her fingers to accomplish the best result.

Next the face capture procedure will start and a live evaluation will be displayed of the resulting picture. Indication boxes will turn green when the picture is ready to be captured. After this an extensive biometric search screen will show you the results of the face and fingerprints scan.  The possibility remains to search only on one biometric feature but preferably on a combination of all fingers and face.  By using RADEX BCMS, you ensure a safer border control management for your country! 

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