THE HAGUE, Netherlands:--- The Minister Plenipotentiary, the Honorable Henrietta Doran-York, received a courtesy call at her Cabinet, from Mrs. Jose Verschueren-Sommers of Sint Maarten.
Mrs. Sommers, a well-known school teacher and former principal of the St. Dominic High School on the island and the founder of the 4C (Foresee) Foundation and astound advocate for digital education systems and innovation, is in the Netherlands meeting with organizations linked with St. Maarten.
Mrs. Sommers updated the Honorable Minister of her trip thus far. Upon her arrival in the Netherlands, Mrs. Sommers met with individuals of the Den Bosch Municipality members of the Diocese and an NGO, to discuss plans on assisting a primary school on the island. Supported by the Sint Maarten entrepreneur/ business owner and representing foundation RebuildSXM in the Netherlands, Mr. John Sandiford, a presentation was given on the situation at the schools and possible forms of support discussed. Irene Simmons, Director of the cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary and Kelly Busby of the PR and Protocol department at the Cabinet, were privy to tune in and witness this presentation, via the newly installed media room at the Sint Maarten cabinet.
A visit was also paid to the Missing Chapter Foundation and UNICEF, where possible projects were looked at on how to alleviate the astute needs of the students and children on the island.
Furthermore, she met with the organizers of Global Designathon, an annual global design technology event for primary school children, where due to Irma, St. Maarten unfortunately could not participate this year. However though, plans were made for participation in the 2018 event.
For the remainder of her visit here in the Netherlands, a meeting with the Samenwerkende Fondsen (Cooperating Foundations) was held with as main objective Irma relief funding of St. Maarten social NGOs after the recent visit to St. Maarten by the Dutch Directors of the Cooperating Foundations.
As a token of appreciation and to highlight the resilience of our students on the Island, Mrs. Sommers presented the Honorable Minister with a poster with drawings and poems written by students in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma whereby their sentiments where expressed. One hundred eighty-five students from 13 St. Maarten schools and the after school program No Kidding with Our Kids Foundation submitted their experiences, of which a selection was made by Foresee and the ArtsCraftsCafe Foundation.
The Honorable Minister thanked Mrs. Sommers for her kind gesture and assured her that this poster will be proudly displayed at the Cabinet for all to see. As this poster depicts the resilience of the youngsters of the island and the coping mechanisms. She further stated that her belief in the people’s ability to adapt and move on to rebuilding their lives on the island are strong and that Sint Maarten will indeed regain its splendor and fortitude. After the presentation, a tour of the newly upgraded and improved Cabinet was given. Mrs. Sommers was subsequently wished much success with the remaining meetings in The Netherlands.