PHILIPSBURG:--- The Coordination Team behind SXM DOET is very proud to announce that this year’s 2018 event was a huge success. Over 2000 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to make a difference in our community. A total number of 108 projects were organized respectively by 70 locally represented organizations on Friday, March 9th, and Saturday, March 10th.
A large number of projects this year focused on ‘beautification’ – which was to be expected after hurricane Irma. Many schools, catering to youth of all ages, were spruced up with a new layer of paint, fencing, benches and more. Playgrounds and sports fields in various communities received much-needed upgrades and renovations. Murals, community gardens and establishing recreational areas were also popular projects. Food and clothing-drives, HIV-testing and health awareness sessions were held in various neighborhoods. Animal lovers helped build doghouses, raise awareness and even created a ‘cat-shelter’. Some outdoor projects included the cleanup of neighborhoods and beaches, planting of trees, fixing irrigation pipes and clearing hiking trails. Many projects also focused on the social aspect of volunteering and took various groups such as elderly and foster-kids out for picnics, island tours, crafting activities and more!
“We knew that due to the aftermath of Irma, we would have an influx of projects this year. We are so thankful to all the volunteers that participated this year. It is absolutely heartwarming to see,” stated Melanie Choisy, Fleur Hermanides and Laura Bijnsdorp, the SXM DOET Coordination Team.
SXM DOET is part of a Kingdom-wide initiative, whereby, this year, a total of over 10.000 projects were hosted with over 400.000 volunteers all giving back to their communities for just two days. The King and Queen join in, as well as Princess Beatrix, whom all physically contribute to a project every single year.
Here in St. Maarten, various ministers, parliamentarians, government departments and cabinets, were spotted out in different parts of the community lending a helping hand. VROMI helped out a number of projects by aiding in the removal of trash and debris. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport closed their doors on Friday so that staff could volunteer during SXM DOET.
Many businesses joined in on their own accord as well, with many requesting to contribute to the event in multiple ways. Some companies partnered with the SXM DOET Team to provide discounts and donations to all participants, and others donated their time and assistance by adopting a project for the weekend. To those entities, we owe a very special thank you, since, without such selflessness, SXM DOET would not be what it is today!
The SXM DOET Team would therefore like to thank: Easy Print, Firgos, Domino’s Pizza, Cake House, Prime Distributors, Heavenly Water, Greenfingers, Kooyman, Sherwin Williams, UTS, R&R Tackling, RMG Designs, Viva Signs, the Philipsburg Broadcasting Company, Island 92, PJD3 The Daily Herald, Caribbean Legacy, Oba Oba Bar, Sunset Beach Bar, and CC1.
This year, a number of committed volunteers also signed on as ‘volunteer project managers’. They assisted various organizations in the DOET-process in weeks leading up to the event. SXM DOET Coordinators: “We owe them a big thank you as well, as they took some of the workloads off our shoulders and helped the whole event go a lot smoother!” The coordinators were also happy with persons that signed on as their ‘media-team’, who made sure to document the whole event.
Be The Change Foundation, the executor and organizer of SXM DOET would also like to thank the Oranje Fonds for having brought the initiative to Sint Maarten and of course, for funding the effort locally and throughout the rest of the Dutch Kingdom. This year due to the hurricane-related damage Sint Maarten sustained funding was increased from $650 to $1000 per project, per location. A total of $89.000 was divided over 98 projects, who submitted requests this SXM DOET.
“Thanks to the collaboration of funding agencies, government departments, businesses, organizations and especially our volunteers - a huge positive impact was made on Sint Maarten! We hope that SXM DOET continues to grow each year!” said the SXM DOET Coordination Team.