Soualiga News

Soualiga News (2097)

Community Mobile Dental Consultations available on Tuesday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Community dental care will be available from the mobile dental bus once again on Tuesday, March 20 from 2.00pm to 4.30pm at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg where Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is located.

Dentist Hilda Guevara will be volunteering her time to carry out the consultations.

Dental caries or cavities can be prevented by avoiding dietary free sugars.

Severe dental caries can impair quality of life. For example, dental caries may cause difficulties in eating and sleeping, and in its advanced stages (abscesses), it may result in pain and chronic systemic infection.

Use the opportunity on Tuesday to get your teeth checked at the free dental consultation.

For more information call CPS at 542-1122, 542-1222, 542-1322 or 542-1570.


TelEm Group to report theft of copper cables to police

POND ISLAND – TelEm Group says it will be reporting the theft of copper cables in at least two areas of the island in recent days to the police to head off a potential problem for the company and its customers.

The cable theft has left customers in Cay Hill and Sucker Garden without telecommunication service and TelEm Group management is concerned that other areas may be affected if the thefts continue.

“There are persons out there digging up and cutting down our telecommunication cables, maybe for the copper inside, which they melt down and sell. They should realize that they are affecting entire neighbourhoods through their uncaring and selfish ways,” said TelEm Group Zone Supervisory Elroy Hughes.

He said in the two areas mentioned, subscribers were very angry when they lost service and were even angrier when they found out that it was because their cable had been cut and stolen.

TelEm Group management says it is stepping up security and monitoring of its networks and locations and will be asking the police to assist where possible to bring the culprits to justice.

Members of the public who see any unauthorized removal of TelEm Group cable and equipment in their area are kindly requested to alert the police.


Island Hoops and Coors Light organizes Senior 3 on 3 Knockout on Sunday

PHILIPSBURG - The Island Hoops Foundation, in collaboration with Coors Light presents the Senior 3 on 3 Knockout.

The knockout, scheduled for Sunday, March 18th at 2pm on the Boardwalk at St. Rose Arcade, has a cash prize of $500 to the winning team and is for ball players aged 18 and older.

Sunday’s event is Island Hoops’ first of many planned for 2018. With the growing popularity of 3x3 basketball worldwide, Island Hoops aims to facilitate its local growth and development in preparation for competition throughout the region and beyond for both our youth and adults, Island Hoops said in a press statement on Thursday.

Aside from the tournament itself, persons that would like to take part in the raffle for the all-expenses paid trip to see the Miami Heat or any of Coors Light is other raffle giveaways should come out on Sunday and support the islands youths.

DJ Kilo will also be present, entertaining the crowd throughout the event.



SINT MAARTEN (BELAIR) - The Youth Empowered for Success Foundation, (Y.E.S.) sponsored a free event for the St. Maarten community titled, “Queens You Deserve the Whole Loaf” held at Belair Community Center. The event drew hundreds of women, teenagers and even men on March 14.  

Dr. Natasha Gittens was the Motivational Speaker for the evening. She is recognized as one for the top motivational speakers in the Caribbean.  Her voice captivated the diverse audience and kept them at the edge of their seats.

Her ability to be powerful yet sensitive allows her to pull at the heart strings of both women and men. Her art of delivery is comforting yet direct, so audiences feel her compassion but take away serious messages. 

It was apparent that many women understood her messages, as comments like “Tell it”, “Yes, my dear” and laughter became a part of the room’s ambiance. There were other moments when the room became still and it was clear that the event triggered individuals to seriously examine matters that were heavy on their hearts and minds.  

Gittens said, “I do many of these types of events annually but tonight was special. It is obvious that St. Maarten is still healing from Irma but what I also recognized is that the women of St. Maarten and their daughters are resilient.

“Against all the odds they will surpass obstacles. Tonight, we celebrated change, loving self, understanding love and so much more. In my opinion when you love yourself everything further in your life will reach its highest level of excellence.”

The participants had the following to say about the event:

“Inspirational!” Shama Fluron

“Thank you! It was clear, informative. I recognized the importance of knowing your value, self-worth and loving yourself after tonight. I walk away setting clear parameters and I will work diligently to be a better version of me.”  Michnella Eugenio   

“It was very educational. Awesome! I hope we can have another one very soon!” Dean Franklyn

“Empowering and inspiring. Needs to be done again, more women need to hear this.” D’ Alexis Beatrice.” 

“Extremely powerful and inspiring.” Desiree Rowe

“The YES Foundation is committed to St. Maarten’s youth and will continue to develop opportunities to foster positive change and professional development. We would like to thank our 2017 Foundation donors for making this event possible: N.V. GEBE and Windward Island Bank.

“In addition to our event sponsors Training Professionals International Firm, (TPI) 101.5FM Smart Conversation Talk Show and Customer Service Mobile Academy, (CSMA),” a press release from the organizers said on Thursday. 

Dr. Natasha Gittens


SSSD organizes free Stress, Resilience and Self-care Workshop

PHILIPSBURG – The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing an interactive and informative workshop entitled, “Stress, Resilience and Self-care.”

Parents and other interested persons are encouraged to come out to this workshop which will be held on Wednesday March 28th, 2018 at the University of St. Martin from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

The objective of the workshop is to empowering parents, teachers, and the general public on resilience, its importance in stressful times, and the necessity of self-care. This workshop will also help persons to build resilience in themselves and their children and provide tips and strategies that attendees can utilize to minimize the effects of stress.

For more information, contact the Student Support Services Division at 543-1235 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) provides services to students referred by the schools. These services consists of psychological services, counseling services, social work services, speech language pathology services, educational diagnostic services.

SSSD also provides free career guidance services and parent education sessions.


St. Maarten Serves as a Model of the Caribbean’s Post-Hurricane Comeback

PORT ST. MAARTEN – The official magazine of the cruise industry, “Travel & Cruise,” first quarter 2018 edition, featured on its front page, ‘St. Maarten Serves as a Model of the Caribbean’s Post-Hurricane Comeback.’ The four-page feature can be found at:

Port St. Maarten Management is elated about the coverage the destination has received in this major magazine of the cruise industry.  “It highlights the resiliency of the people of the country and at the same time the country’s best practices post-Irma to re-discover the destination as we rebound.”

Travel & Cruise is distributed to over 500 cruise executives; 5,000 industry partners representing all sectors of the cruise industry; and over 25,000 travel agents and 15,000 travel agencies.

Port St. Maarten along with the various stakeholders have been showcasing the progress on Island over the last five months via a strategic marketing approach to ensure the industry that the country are true partners in restoring this unique vacation destination.

“We have used many channels over the last months not by only meeting with cruise executives, but it was important for our local stakeholders to have access to the executives as well during the Island visits to assure they get the message directly that we are all onboard.

“The hard work by our team was showcased with the prominent branding throughout the Seatrade Cruise Global conference locations. Our aim is to get the wording out there, ‘St. Maarten is Open for Business,’ giving us the opportunity to further tap into the industry market share in the Eastern Caribbean.

“We further informed that discussions are being finalized for confirmed numbers for 2018 which will be released within short to the stakeholders. We are pleased with the progress thus far and look forth to a solid 2018 cruise season.

The publication also featured Port consultant Mico Cascais entitled, ‘St. Maarten’s Return to Prominence and Lessons for Other Cruise Destinations’. The veteran shore excursions executive said that, “St. Maarten was always a go to reference when often asked, what destination does it right”. He further highlighted that, he is excited for the people of St. Maarten and Port St. Maarten; they have the right momentum needed to capitalize on the industry’s growth. The activation of citizens as destination ambassadors, along with their stories and the new and improved experiences will continue to keep St. Maarten as a leading destination of choice in the Caribbean.

Port St. Maarten management concluded by saying that the team will continue to push the brand of the destination in collaboration with the local cruise related stakeholders.

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors.

By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

Established in 1975, CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community.

CLIA supports policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment and is dedicated to promoting the cruise travel experience.

CLIA’s mission is to foster its members' success by advocating, educating and promoting the common interests of the cruise community; and by representing the interests of the cruise industry community.

CLIA has 60+ cruise lines as members, from ocean to specialty cruise ships who represent more than 95 percent of global cruise capacity.  CLIA Cruise Lines serve more than 24 million passengers annually.

There are also 340+ Executive Partner Members comprising of key suppliers and partners to the cruise lines.  Executive partners play a major role in the successful operation of cruising, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services.

CLIA also as a network of 15,000 Global Travel Agency and 25,000 Travel Agent Members who include the largest agencies, hosts, franchises and consortia in the world.

2018 Travel and Cruise Mag Q1


Temporary Staffing needed for Community Outreach Program

POND ISLAND - The Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs within the Ministry of VSA hereby announces that they are in need of temporarily staffing for their upcoming community outreach programs.

This endeavor is being executed with the cooperation of the various Community Councils and Representatives as well as NGOs engaged in Community based activities.

In addition, a number of persons with the following background and experiences are needed to support this endeavor: Community Officers, District workers, Social Workers, Case Managers and Administrative Assistance.

Interested persons are requested to apply at the St. Maarten Placement Network (SPN) upstairs of Office World on the Pond fill.

If any additional information is needed you can contact any of the Community Help Desks within your immediate neighborhood, Dutch Quarter 1721-520-7651; St. Peters +1721-520-3418 and Cole Bay +1721-550-0113.


MDGs-SDGs Pilot project on Poverty Alleviation good example

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - In September 2016 the project ‘Community Back Yard Gardening program St. Maarten’ embarked at Spaceless Garden in St. Peters as one of the pilot projects to combine several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) together, aiming “Eradication of poverty and hunger” on St. Maarten.

This project was geared to the increase of awareness on agriculture and its possibilities on Sint Maarten. Its main focus is to identify people of interest and help enhancing their agricultural skills via a training program and assist them with setting up a garden in their back yard.

Overall aim of this project is to accelerate progress in the former Millennium Development Goal 1 on eradicating poverty. Yet the project serves to tackle more SDGs: No poverty (1), Zero hunger (2), Good Health and Well-being (3), Quality Education (4), Decent work (8), Sustainable communities (11) and Responsible consumption and production (12) as seven of the 17 SDGs to be fulfilled with this community-oriented project.

All by all the project would stimulate the Agricultural\Cultural awareness, encourage skill enhancement and job employment as well as the increase of social\human interaction, stimulate health and increase the buying and spending power of the surrounding communities through education and practice.

The total budgeted cost of the first phase of this project, $18,050.00, was funded by UNESCO and involved the purchase of agricultural training materials and basic computer training.

The second phase cost was $44, 576.00 and covered by the Government of Sint Maarten via the National Development Plan (NDP) project. The project is a co-joint partnership between the government of Sint Maarten and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

The Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) was the overall coordinator and facilitator, but more stakeholders were involved in this pilot project. BAK worked together with the UNDP. 

Furthermore, in collaboration with the Ministry of VSA (Public Health, Social Development and Labour) they supported the project owner and project manager and executor Denisio Wyatt in this endeavor.

The Ministry of VROMI (Public Housing, Spacial Development, Environment and Infrastructure) gave assistance with granting of permits for community events and advised on the best way to approach and opened doors for agricultural possibilities via specific departments of Government.

Another stakeholder was the St. Peters Community Council which helped with amongst others, identifying skillful members in the community, organizing tents for community events and making space available for training at Rupert Maynard Community Center and to inform the public on the ‘Community Market Day’.  

The second phase involved the purchase of material structures for community events (market day), publicity and training in agricultural skills, as well as training in general agricultural and recycling, Landscaping, waste management, computer basics skills and vegan food preparation and presentation.

Five participants to the training were certificated.

The aim is to accomplish that Spaceless Garden would provide locally-grown fruits and vegetables to community members to offset the high cost of imported food on Sint Maarten.

The training to those selected community members would give them additional skills and knowledge to be able to find employment and make an income.

Part of the project was also to provide a venue for other members of the community to generate a small additional income from sales of their goods and services at a “Community Market Day” (once per month) and to provide the St. Peters Community Council with additional revenue, so they may be able to assist needy members of their community.

The Community Market Day helps also to empower the community members to utilize their skills in community gardening and cultural activities in establish sustainable network and encouraging entrepreneurship through the selling of the produced from their garden. We hope that the Community Market Day will sustain itself and encourage other districts to duplicate the idea.

Spaceless garden provided public awareness via Website promotion and

In conclusion, the Ministry of VSA has done an evaluation of the project and it can be ascertained that the project was successful in reaching its objectives.

As it pertains to improving the skills and knowledge of targeted less fortunate members of the community through a diverse hands-on training program that focuses on home gardening: during the selection phase the project encountered a number of persons from different ages and backgrounds.

The project managed to select five participants and provided them training in general agricultural, recycling, carpentry, masonry, basic computer skills, publication, publicity awareness and resume development.

As it pertains to creating community events and activities that will increase human and social interaction: the project managed to organize two market day events selling local produce, having kids activities, local performances, local dishes and traditional garden displays.

During the project there were obstacles in attaining permits for the events, that had an impact in the number of market days held. There was also an issue with government for the property where the community garden is located. These issues obstructed the installation of an electrical meter, which was needed to run the pumps to water the plants. Fortunately, the building of a reservoir was funded by SZV (Social Health Insurances), which helped in storing water for the garden, watering still needed to be done manually.

As it pertains to enhancing the sustainability of community organizations like the St. Peters Community Council and Spaceless Gardens: the project showed, that there could be a revenue source gained by organizing such events. There was 150 kilos fruits and vegetables harvested from the community garden of which was sold to the community, supermarkets and hotels.

As it pertains to encourage other communities and their members to start community gardens and community markets: although no other communities tried to execute such a project, the project did show that it could be successful in other communities.

As it pertains to establish a sustainable food network amongst members involved in Community Gardening on small and large scales that will eventually help towards eradicating poverty and extreme hunger: this project managed to create awareness in the community about the benefits of having a home garden and also managed to have a number of households to start their own home garden, of whom also participated in the market day events selling the produce that they grew. The community garden also managed to harvest over 150 kilos of fruits and vegetables of which was sold at a lower price compared to the supermarket prices.


In order for this project to take hold in other communities, it is recommended to have a buy in from community councils. There is also a need for an organization to lead to development of this initiative within the other communities. Government should also support this type of initiatives and play a role in the aspect of community development and also commit land in the community, which can be used for such activities. 


UNDP “Building Back Better St. Maarten”

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - With the substantial damages caused by Hurricane Irma on St. Maarten, the Dutch government has therefore reserved €550 million for St Maarten's recovery.

Though a significant portion of this money is being administered by a World Bank trust fund, in advance of the trust fund becoming operational, €7 million has been made available for early recovery.

This means that funding will be provided for projects launched after January 2018 and completed by July 2018 which have a direct impact on St Maarten's population. The ‘UNDP Quick Impact Projects’ being carried out by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) forms part of this early recovery phase.

The United Nations Development Programme has partnered with the St. Maarten Government and the Netherlands to support Sint Maarten’s short-term recovery by focusing on three (3) projects over the next 6 months (June 2018).

With the recent establishment of our temporary office in St. Maarten, we are able to properly housed our on-ground project team which is supported by the UNDP Country office (UNDP CO) in Trinidad and Tobago.

UNDP’s Quick Impact Projects recognized under the theme “Building Back Better St. Maarten” focuses on Community Clean-up, fixing of community structures and roof repairs. Thus far we have been very actively working alongside VROMI for the execution of our Cash for Work, Community Clean-up project.

Our Cash for Work project gives persons who are unemployed or underemployed the opportunity to participate in community clean-up and be paid for their work. With assistance from VROMI we are able to identify areas within all communities that still has a built up of hurricane debris lying around, this can either be private yards or open spaces.

Once locations are identified, VROMI selects contractors from their inhouse listing to work at known sites. Contractors are then expected to use their current staff and hire additional for the execution of the clean-up of the site in which he/ she has been assigned.

Person assigned to work with contractors are expected to work for a maximum of twenty (20) days after which staff will be rotated to ensure others who are also currently unemployed or underemployed has the opportunity to also engage in our “Cash for Work” project.

To ensure widespread knowledge, execution and presence of our projects, UNDP recently began having short information sessions with various community groups and councils to inform them of our projects and ways in which they too can participate. During the upcoming weeks, UNDP seeks to engage in various media platforms to shed even more awareness of our presence on the island as well as our projects.

UNDP believes resilience is built through a “building back better”-approach by ensuring development as part of the island’s recovery process. ‘This is one of the early recovery projects financed from the Dutch Recovery Fund for St Maarten, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. €7 million has been made available during the early recovery phase for projects that will have a direct impact on the population of St Maarten.’



Governor makes available Informateur’s report

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) – On Tuesday, March 13 the Cabinet of the Governor made available a copy of the informateur’s report regarding the formation process of the next Government of Sint Maarten.

On March 12, 2018, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday received the report from the informateurs, Dr. R.J.A. Arduin and J.J. Beaujon.

The Governor thanked the informateurs for accepting and completing the assignment as planned. The findings of the report will be used as input for the process of the formation of a new government.

The Governor is discussing the report with the political leaders of the parties which are elected to parliament. Following the completion of these discussions a formateur will be appointed.

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