SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Expanding its activities in the area of District and Neighborhood Improvement, SMDF (St. Maarten Development Foundation), in partnership with Dutch humanitarian and development aid agency Cordaid, hosted its Community Mobilization and Emergency Preparedness workshops.
The workshop, which was well attended, saw over 25 attendees bringing together some 12 Community Based Organizations throughout St. Maarten. Speaking about the turnout and participation, SMDF Program and Development Manager Makhicia Brooks indicated that the Fund was quite satisfied with attendance and engagement.
“Having attendees from so many communities showed us that there is interest in community engagement and that this can be a way forward for supporting St. Maarten’s civil society, so we are very happy,” said Brooks.
During the workshop, expert emergency preparedness facilitator Rusty Binas provided attendees with valuable information about community mobilization for emergency preparedness.
The workshops, which were very interactive provided an open forum for participants to share their experiences in community mobilization after hurricane Irma and thoughts for future community engagement.
Amongst themselves, the community representatives provided action points for the way forward which included capacity building training for community mobilization, emergency preparedness training and increased dialogue with Government.
In turn, SMDF reconfirmed its intention to be supportive of community development initiatives in a structural manner that would be to the benefit of all.
Closing out the workshop, Brooks shared with the participants SMDF’s intention to continue its partnership with Cordaid and further expansion of its neighborhood development activities.