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Prevent Drowning this School Holiday Season.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is advising parents and guardians to be vigilant when their children are at the beach swimming or at the swimming pool during the school holiday season.

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for seven per cent of all injury-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO adds that there are an estimated 360,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide; Global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual public health problem related to drowning. Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.

The WHO defines drowning as the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity.

The WHO says that the Global report on drowning (2014) shows that age is one of the major risk factors for drowning; “This relationship is often associated with a lapse in supervision.

“Globally, the highest drowning rates are among children 1–4 years, followed by children 5–9 years. In the WHO Western Pacific Region children aged 5–14 years die more frequently from drowning than any other cause,” according to WHO information.

There are several actions that can be taken to prevent drowning. Covering cisterns/wells, using doorway barriers and playpens, fencing swimming pools; do not have wash tubs or buckets open with water etc. are just some examples on what measures can be taken.

Teaching school-age children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills are approaches that can be undertaken to prevent drowning, and always ensure supervision by a responsible adult when child(ren) are in the water.


The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten Hosts “Pop Dinner Party” In Support of Sister Marie Laurence Primary School.

rotary15072018PHILIPSBURG:--- The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten hosted a “Pop-Up” dinner party in support of Sister Marie Laurence Primary School on July 8, 2018. A first of it’s kind on St. Maarten, a Pop Up Dinner is when a chef, but in this case, 5 top chef’s prepare a meal in a setting where you usually would not think to host a dinner party.

The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten adopted the Sister Marie Laurence Primary School after the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which was severely damaged after the storm and then completely looted. The school served as the venue for the “Pop Up Dinner Party”. The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten is in the doorstep of approval of a Global Grant of close to $400,000 with the partnership of 11 International Rotary Club’s which will provide vocational support and training to the faculty, as well as providing the school with the latest in teaching and learning materials, a computer lab, C-Touch digital learning boards, a playground, a gardening center and much more.

St. Maarten’s top chefs representing Emilio’s, Topper’s, Avantika, Lazy Lizard, and L’Isola Authentic Italian, donated their time to the cause and prepared their signatures dishes on the spot for more than 150 attendees on the evening of July 8th. There were rave reviews about the food and it was easy to see why these chefs are considered amongst St. Maarten’s finest. Dessert was
ice cream scooped on location by the Carousel. CC1 and Prime Distributers set up and provided a full bar and kept the drinks flowing all evening, while the Guavaberry Emporium offered all
attendees a welcome drink.

Soundmasters, Artemia and Ti Punch Party Services transformed the school yard into an oasis and certainly exceeded the objective of the evening of bringing Rotarians, stakeholders, friends, school staff and supporters together to create a festive atmosphere in a setting that you would not think possible. Being in such a well-decorated and lit setting, in such a damaged school, brought out many emotions that played well into the evening and to the spirit of helping.

Tanja Frederiks-Vliegen, on behalf of Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten, made a short presentation outlining the future vision and plans for the school which was met with much applause as the well thought out plan included building back the school to be future proof and the centerpiece of the Middle Region community. Since this school has low parental participation, it was decided to include a parent resource center where they can use a computer, internet, printer, etc. and a community room where the Middle Region Community Council can

hold their meetings. Completely redoing the sporting court is also essential as it gives the youth of the region an area a safe and positive place to gather.

“The plan for the SML School is one that proves that government, private sector, insurance, Dutch/World Bank funding, service clubs, individuals and the community as a whole CAN work together for a common goal of building St. Maarten and in particular, this school back better. I can not think of a more well rounded and meaningful project to be a part of for the betterment of the island I love”, said John Caputo, the President of The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten.

Many tears were shed when young Valedictorian Chailon Ruan told his amazing story of living through hardships and how through perseverance and much help from the dedicated Care Team of the school, he was still able to graduate at the top of his class and be accepted to St. Dominic High School. While still facing financial challenges, a donor pledged to sponsor his school and book fees, and that led to many offers of support to the “Tree of Giving” where dozens of attendees sponsored a school uniform set, school supplies, laptops, etc. for children in need. Anil Sabnani from Carrefour Market pledged 10 laptops to students in need.

Laura and Roland Richardson donated a painting, which fetched over $3,500 in an auction held and displayed on location and online, with the winning bid from Randy and Dany Acree from the United States. The funds raised by the auction will be applied to a district grant application and be used for art supplies and the proposed art room of the school. Continuing with the fundraising effort, a 50/50 raffle was won Donna-Maria de Roche’ of Nagico Insurances. She graciously donated her winnings back to the cause.

DJ Sheff opened the dance floor where those in attendance continued to dance the night away, and since the dress code for the evening was “Dress for School” or “Caribbean Elegant”, many took the opportunity to go back to school and the outfits were very creative and fun. Nisha Khatnani won in the best-dressed female category, while David Antrobus won the best-dressed male category.

Much to her surprise, Tanja Frederiks-Vliegen was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, for her tireless efforts towards this project and those in other schools as well. Minister of Education, the Honorable Wycliffe Smith and the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten President John Caputo presented her with this prestigious recognition just before she gave her presentation on the future plans for the school.

"This award means so much to me, I am very grateful to have received this recognition. As a Foundation we are very blessed to have the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten as a partner. The plans to transform this school from a "regular" school into an Exceptional School are extremely important, as this school caters to a lot of students who need that extra positive focus and attention. The Foundation has submitted the project plan via the Government of St. Maarten to the World Bank/Recovery Funds and is currently awaiting their response. The plan is to completely rebuild the school, which would allow for the school to provide a true holistic development program in order to cater to all the diverse needs of the students, but also - very importantly - to be able to tap into their abilities, talents and dreams. The vast majority of these students face many hardships and are confronted with impossibilities every single day. As a school, as a community, and as a government it time that we start focusing on this at-risk group of students, not only at the Sister Marie Laurence, but at all schools. With the funding and input

from the Rotary Clubs, this project promises to have an enormous long-term impact on the well- being of our students”, said Tanja Frederiks-Vliegen.

The Pop Up Dinner event had a series of other thought out economically and environmentally impactful ideas. Dow Music Foundation was hired to play steel pan and 9 students from the Hospitality and Culinary section of The Sundial School were hired to ensure attendees were served with professionalism and they also given the opportunity to work alongside these inspirational chefs. Commemorative wine glasses were issued to minimize waste and only biodegradable cups were used as was minimal plastics.

Windward Roads provided security lighting for the parking area for the evening. Jump Up Casino and Caribbean Lottery had also donated a sizeable amount late last year to help the school and Rotary achieve its goals.

“Hearing the Valedictorian's speech is exactly why I joined Rotary. Knowing we can help not only him, but all of the Students of this school through our efforts is truly heartwarming. Rotarians of our Club, the students and faculty of the school are extremely thankful for the support of the chefs and all others who made this Pop Up Dinner a night to remember. We were truly honored that so many, including the Minister of Education, the Honorable Wycliffe Smith came out to support such a worthy cause,” President Caputo concluded.

SDM shares views on Ennia saga and Political Silence.

bortega15072018PHILIPSBURG:--- Over the past years, there have been widely publicized media reports about issues surrounding insurance company Ennia and the companies directly affiliated with it. All mentioned companies are part of the business conglomerate of the well-known billionaire Hushang Ansary.

The “Ennia saga” seems to have started back in 2010. Since then, at least six employees of Ennia expressed their concerns about “risky” intercompany transactions between Ennia Caribe Investments (ECI) and Ennia. In that same year, the Central Bank of Aruba instructed Ennia to take risk-mitigating measures.

Reportedly, the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) was warned about the situation at Ennia by different players in the financial markets as early as 2011. Despite these warnings, it took until 2015 for DNB to investigate the matter. In the resulting confidential report published in June of that same year, Ennia was qualified as “failed” from a financial and organizational perspective, based on the risks of “...significant and non-transparent mutual financial positions within the group...”.

Since the publication of the DNB report, in which Mr. Ansary was accused of financially “draining” Ennis’s pension funds, a number of subsequent events took place. Some examples are:

• Raids on Ennia offices in Curacao by the Public Prosecutor in relation with the Emsley Tromp investigation;
• Instructions issued by the CBCS to Ennia to take the Mullet Bay property off its books;
• Ennia transferring USD. 100 mln. outside of the company without the approval of the CBCS;
• Mr. Ansary announcing new appointments and a reshuffling of the Board and Management;
• The Supervisory Board and management of Ennia, including Mr. Ansary, being subsequently relieved of their duties;
• The CBCS filing (and winning) court injunctions against Ennia.

Most recently, the developments surrounding Ennia took a worrisome turn for the worse, when reports regarding liens on Mullet Bay (valued at USD. 460 mln.) and nine other properties owned by Ennia-related Sun Resorts were published. Unfortunately, these latest reports should come as no surprise, based on all the events which took place during the past few years.

Since 10-10-10, all political parties and successive Governments have made statements and promises about Mullet Bay and its importance to the economic development of Sint Maarten. What is very surprising to the St. Maarten Development Movement though, as well as a reason for grave concern, is that despite the widely publicized problems at Ennia, neither the Government of Sint Maarten, nor any of the political parties represented in Parliament have issued a formal response to any of the developments regarding the “Ennia saga” as yet. Why the deafening silence from the political establishment on Sint Maarten on a matter of this importance? This unexpected silence is surprising to the St. Maarten Development Movement for two reasons.

First of all, Ennia is the largest insurance company in the Dutch Caribbean, serving clients and/or having investments on all six islands including Sint Maarten. This means that the people of Sint Maarten will be directly or indirectly affected by the consequences of financial problems at Ennia and its related companies. Insurance premiums, pension premiums, and pension payments to Ennia policy holders could be in serious jeopardy. This would be an additional blow to all segments of the population, in addition to the material and financial losses caused by hurricane Irma. Particularly those who are largely dependent on pension benefits to sustain themselves would see their livelihood drop dramatically.

Secondly, Mullet Bay was once the proud and prosperous flag ship of the hotel industry, and the main economic pillar of the economy of Sint Maarten. Yet despite all the political rhetoric from parties represented in Parliament since 10-10-10 that the re-opening of Mullet Bay is crucial for the sustainable development of Sint Maarten as a country, no information on the recently reported liens placed on the property has been forthcoming to the general public from the Government or opposition parties.
The CBCS, in its capacity as regulator is charged with safeguarding the interest of the general public and those entitled to insurance and pension benefits from Ennia. As such, the CBCS has enacted emergency regulations.

However, it would behoove both the Government, who appoints the Supervisory Board of the CBCS, and the opposition parties to inform the general public what their position is on the developments surrounding Ennia and Mullet Bay, and how they intend to protect the interest of the people of Sint Maarten in the short-, medium-, and long term. Even the Dutch Parliament questioned former Minister Dijsselbloem on this matter back in June of 2016.
On behalf of the people of Sint Maarten, the St. Maarten Development Movement
is therefore urging the political parties represented in Parliament, and the Government in particular, to address the general public of Sint Maarten on the Ennia/Mullet Bay issue and provide much needed information.

Hard questions need to be asked and answered by the Government. How will the livelihoods of the pensioners, their families, and other vulnerable segments of society be protected and guaranteed now and, in the future, and by whom? What will the effects be if those who are entitled to benefits from Ennia are forced to switch to another company? How will the Government prevent situations like the “Ennia saga” from happening in the future? How will Mullet Bay and other valuable assets belonging to the people of Sint Maarten be protected as part of the country’s national patrimony.

The people have the right to know, and the St. Maarten Development Movement looks forward to a swift response from the Government to these and other questions.

SXM at Caribbean Aviation Day.

sxmaviationday15072018Simpson Bay:--- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Acting Chief Executive Offi- cer (CEO), Ravi Daryanani of the Princess Juliana International Airport – SXM – was among panelists at the recently concluded Caribbean Aviation Day hosted by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the Caribbean Development Bank and ALTA, at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

The “Executive CEO Chat” addressed the theme:“Challenges facing the Caribbean Aviation Growth an Intra-Connectiv- ity.”

The other panelists included the CEO of LIAT, Julie Reifer -Jones, Managing Director of Bahamas-air, Tracy Cooper, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Hugh Riley and Media Consultant of Rogers Media House, Julian Rogers.

The chat is a traditional flagship panel at IATA Aviation Days, bringing senior executives of the aviation industry togeth- er to discuss some of the challenges that the industry has faced over the past year and is likely to face in coming years. The overall goal of the panel was to get the panelists to shed light on how they have met or plan to meet those chal- lenges.

Reportedly, the air transport industry in Latin America and the Caribbean generates US$ 167 billion in GDP and supports
5.2 million jobs. The report, according toIATA, goes on to state that every year, 2.6 million flights operate in Latin
America and the Caribbean, connecting 385 cities in the region and 160 cities around the world.

Daryanani took the opportunity to update the panelists and delegates on the current operations at the Princess Juliana
International Airport following the 2017 hurricanes.

“Maybe Hurricane Irma did one thing for us, it allowed us to hit a reset button on how to reach out to our airlines, VIP
services, partners and neighbors on the French side,” he said.

He further revealed that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the authorities of Dutch and French
St. Martin, forging a bond for both sides to work together in efforts to market the island as one destination.

NV GEBE in partnership with Olympic Federation.

olympicgebe13072018PHILIPSBURG:--- NV GEBE proudly announced its partnership with the St. Maarten Sports and Olympic Federation. The St. Maarten Olympic National Team is headed to Barranquilla, Colombia with the St. Maarten Promising Athletes on July 18 to August 3, 2018, to represent St. Maarten in four sport disciplines.
“NV GEBE is honored to support these athletes who represent the best in their sport and the best of our country,” said the Managing Board of the utility company. “This sponsorship highlights our commitment to the success of the athletes, along with our broader commitment to sports on St. Maarten.”
The Managing Board of NV GEBE is very impressed by the outstanding journey the St. Maarten Promising Athletes have managed to reach despite the passing of Hurricane Irma. NV GEBE wishes the St. Maarten Olympic National Team the very best as they participate in this prestigious sporting event.

Apart from this sponsorship, NV GEBE has sponsored the St. Maarten Sports and Olympic Federation since 2016 making their travels to Cuba, Cost Rica, Argentina and Dominican Republic, in preparation of the CAC Games, possible.

The sponsorship marks the latest effort by NV GEBE to support sports on St. Maarten.


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