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Twenty organizations participate in Island(er)s at the Helm's first stakeholder meeting

islanders17092021PHILIPSBURG:--- On 14 September 2021, the Island(er)s at the Helm program hosted its first Kingdom-wide event with societal partners and other stakeholders. This meeting is the start of a five-year collaboration that brings together researchers and societal partners to use technical, traditional, and contemporary knowledge practices to study climate change adaptation. Working closely together, the Island(er)s at the Helm program will co-create sustainable and inclusive solutions for social adaptation to climate challenges in the (Dutch) Caribbean.

In this event, participating organizations and researchers exchanged ideas for collaboration within the Island(er)s at the Helm research program. The thirty participants emphasized the importance of considering traditional architectural practices, the impact of climate catastrophes on mental health and the role of children and community engagement in research design.

Strengthening the Dutch Caribbean knowledge infrastructure

The online stakeholder meeting was introduced by program chair Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, who described the goals of the research collaboration: "We are not researching the islanders, but researching with the islanders. The outcome of the project is a strengthening of the Dutch Caribbean knowledge infrastructure. For this reason, we tried as much as possible to hire people with a Dutch Caribbean background. We hope that our intensive collaborations lead to community development initiatives and social cohesion between government organizations, NGO's and the rest of civil society, to deepen the awareness of the importance of adaptation in relation to climate challenges."

Three new PhD research projects

The introduction was followed by project presentations by the newest members of the research team. Harold Kelly, who will be based at the National Archaeological Museum Aruba, presented his archaeological research on social adaptations to past habitation and climatic challenges which will start in Aruba; Lysanne Charles, whose research will be conducted from the University of St. Martin, spoke about her plans to co-create a policy and strategy roadmap for Sint Maarten, Saba, and Statia; and Sharelly Emanuelson described her research project about natural disasters and leisure time as moments of freedom in the Dutch Caribbean, which she will conduct from the Royal Institute for southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.

An open invitation

The results of this meeting will be incorporated in the research design of Island(er)s at the Helm. This will contribute to building long-term collaborations between the researchers and the societal partners on the islands where the research projects will be conducted.  The event was closed with an open invitation to societal partners to collaborate in the Island(er)s at the Helm program. Artist and PhD researcher Sharelly Emanuelson explained: "The project offers us an opportunity to get a better understanding of who we are and what is important to us. In this, art not only offers multiple perspectives, but also helps us reach out to a larger group, and I see that as my role as well. This event is meant as an introduction. It's really important to continue our collaborations, so we will continue having these meetings. We need to keep asking ourselves the difficult questions and engage in conversation."

The Island(er)s at the Helm project team

The research program starts this month with a transdisciplinary team that consists of program chair Dr. Francio Guadeloupe (University of Amsterdam/KITLV), co-applicants Prof. dr. Corinne L. Hofman (Leiden University/KITLV) and Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez (University of St. Martin); PhD candidates Lysanne Charles, Sharelly Emanuelson, and Harold Kelly; science communication & community engagement coordinator Tibisay Sankatsing Nava and project manager Emma de Mooij. In January 2022, 6 postdoctoral researchers will join the project and the official project kick-off event will be held in the Caribbean.

Twenty participating organizations

A variety of non-governmental organizations, government, and industry representatives participated in this first meeting. This included the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten Mr. Rene Violenus, Saba Government, the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (VROMI) in Sint Maarten, National Archaeological Museum Aruba, Monumentenraad Curacao,  Terramar Museum Bonaire, The Quill Foundation Statia, Arte Sano Foundation Aruba, National Archaeological - Anthropological Memory Management, FuHiKuBo, Saba Heritage Center, SXM development fund, Mind Venture International, Spaceless Gardens, and World Wildlife Fund Bonaire, in addition to a number of academic partners.

23 COVID-19 recoveries today.

omarottley23022021PHILIPSBURG:--- As of September 16th, there were nineteen (19) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, twenty-three (23) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to one hundred eighty-three (183). The total number of confirmed cases is now four thousand fifty-three (4053).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring one hundred seventy-five (175) people in home isolation. Eight (8) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at fifty-nine (59).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to three thousand eight hundred eleven (3811). One hundred forty (140) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) Airport Health Team in collaboration with Health Care Laboratory Sint Maarten (HCLS) have tested 3, 682 travelers arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), while CPS tested 41, 509 people throughout the community. As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

Minister Ottley urges everyone to continue and follow the mandatory regulations implemented.

Procedure related to stolen or lost documents.

PHILIPSBURG:--- There is a fundamental difference in the handling of stolen documents and lost documents by the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM). Below is the explanation.

Stolen Documents.

For all stolen official documents such as an ID card /Driver’s Licence / Passport / Proof of Admittance or other documents, an official complaint of theft must be filed by the concerned party with the Detective Department of the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM. This applies to residents and non-residents of Sint Maarten.
If a document is reported stolen, the following steps are followed:
1) A statement will be taken by a police officer at the police station front desk or at the relevant unit of the Detective Department.
2) A copy of the report of the stolen documents is issued to the one filing the report. This report can be submitted to the relevant authority to request new documents to replace the stolen ones.
Lost Documents
In case of lost official documents (ID card / Driving License / Passport / Proof of Admittance and other documents), an official “Notice of loss” or KVV must be filed by the concerned party with KPSM. There is a change to this procedure. Below is an overview of the documents and where assistance must be sought.
1) Lost ID Card / Passport of residents of Sint Maarten: Civil Registry Department (commonly called census department).
2) All other lost documents from residents and non-residents of Sint Maarten: An official “Notice of loss” must be made at KPSM.
If an official report of the lost document is required, the following steps should be taken:
1) The KPSM secretariat is responsible for the “Notice of loss” procedure and handles all applications from the moment a report is filed until the handing over of this document KVV to the notifier.
2) Residents may visit the KPSM Secretariat Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
3) Reports must be requested in person. If a third party files for the report on behalf of the requester, an authorization letter, together with a copy of a valid ID must be submitted when the report is filed.
4) The secretariat digitally processes the reports directly into the KPSM’s databank administration.
5) An official proof of identity must be handed over. The appendices are scanned into the databank and linked to the form for the official “Notice of loss” report.
6) This form with attachments is sent digitally to the Head of Basic Police Service BPZ for approval’ this takes a maximum of three (3) business days. In the absence of the department head, the Chief of Police will approve this document.
7) You can then collect the official printed letter “Notice of Loss” from the secretariat within three (3) business days in order to request your new documents.


KPSM Press Release.


Police patrols around St. Peters / South Reward school district.

policeschools16092021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Police Force of St. Maarten KPSM has begun implementing an action plan based on the ministerial decree, issued by the Minister of Justice, to reduce the fights and other illegal acts committed in and around the schools especially in St. Peters and South Reward.

To tackle these types of behaviors and lay a foundation to reduce incidents, KPSM recently put together a team of officers to carry out actions around the schools.
These operations have yielded the following positive results. In the last few days, police have been patrolling the school district in the morning and afternoon. Since then, it is noticeable that fights in and around the school have decreased significantly. It is further noticeable that the disorderly behavior happening has also greatly declined in and around schools.
Other actions will be undertaken by KPSM to further safeguard everyone in the affected areas.

Police held information sessions at schools.

In an ongoing effort to bridge the gap between the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM and students of Sint Maarten, a group of police officers is conducting a series of information sessions at several schools.
On September 16, 2021, two police officers made a presentation at Learning Unlimited Preparatory School. Majors J. Boyrard and I. Woodley with the police K-9 Oscar demonstrated how an arrest is made via the police K-9 deployment.
After, they explained to the students the types of police dogs and their skills.
The KPSM management team expresses gratitude to Learning Unlimited for inviting the officers.


KPSM Press Release.


New Testament Baptist Church celebrates 65th anniversary.

ntbcsxm16092021PHILIPSBURG:---The New Testament Baptist Church (NTBC) is observing and celebrating 65 years on St. Maarten.
The founder, Mr. Robert Mayer, officially established the church on the island in September 1956 at its present location.
The building has since undergone several repairs and renovations but has maintained its location.
Over the years NTBC has had several Pastors at its helm, such as Pastor Charles Vlaun, Pastor Alwyn Lake, Pastor Wycliff Smith to its current
Pastor Nolan Nanton.
For over 29 years NTBC has been providing hot meals to the public from Monday to Friday through its soup chicken on the church premises.
Today, the number of daily meals amounts to over 100.

To observe its 65th anniversary, NTBC will host 7 special services, starting on Sunday, September 19th at 4.30 pm, followed by
evening services from Monday to Friday at 7.30 under the theme “65 and Alive!”
Two invited guests, Pastor Fleville Tinto out of Trinidad and Apostle Vaden Grant from the USA will be the feature speakers
for the nightly services.
The NTBC worship team will officially release its owned compositions of worship songs during a special service on Friday, September 24th
There will be no service on Saturday. On Sunday morning, September 26th, the regular 10 am service continues, followed by the Sunday evening service at 7.00 pm, which marks the end of the celebrations. The general public is invited to be a part of the celebrations by attending the nightly services or by joining us online at COVID 19 protocols are in place and will be observed.

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