PHILIPSBURG:--- It is like the day of yesterday, that I recall the establishment of the Beyond Writing Foundation in 2003, now named Beyond Kultura Events Foundation’s with the most important aim to enhance reading and Storytelling amongst the youth, Loekie Morales stated. We have accomplished that with tangible results over the course of the years, not only for Sint Maarten but for the other Dutch Windward Islands and Leeward Island as well.
She is the founding mother of this foundation and of the Caribbean Living Statues Festivals, as a unique festival with many aims. Next to embracing our cultural heritage and creativity, the festival makes diversifying our tourist product tangible. Morales is president of the BKF and has always embraced creativity, empowerment of women and the youth and the care of Nature and Environment via said foundation. We reach not only Sint Maarten people but the whole world out around us with this festival, of which we hope to have in the near future again.
BKE shows the importance of the role of our youth in the development of Sint Maarten by giving them the platform to express their innovative ideas into the performing Art’s and Literature and Environment world.
With the publication and free distribution of several books to the primary schools of those islands, Beyond Kultura has contributed to the enhancement of reading (which is fundamental for our kid’s developments) to these societies. So, for our literature pillar we have reached to thousands of children and young adults over the years: Zonnesproetjes (2000 copies), Tropisch Nestje (2500 copies), Bonte Boel (2000 copies), Mina Marina 3000 copies) De Magische Bruidstaart/The Magic Wedding Cake (3000 copies), Freedom Salsa (2000 copies) and Chella and the Weird Woman/Chella en het Vreemde Vrouwtje (1200 copies). Via our foundation, we have handed over to the high schools of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten the books Bloedlijn Overzee (1000 copies), Overseas Bloodline (1000 copies). Sanger ta Yama was recently distributed to Aruban high schools by Aruban Department of Education, which has understood the importance of our culture and history and quality literature for their pupils.
We have also published work of youngsters who have been winners of our writing competitions and have embraced our SXM pageant queens into our storytelling programs.
Sint Maarten’s first Audio Book was that of Overseas Bloodline, made in the studio of Dennis van Putten and of whereby an international selection commission has chosen the Sint Maarten based reader to read the whole book. The audiobook is still popular and a good asset for people who have difficulties of reading books or have English as a second or third language. It is a stimulation of those who are having problems with the pronunciation of English, to enhance fluency in that language.
Via our storytelling programs (mainly the Kids Night Out’s programs and the storytelling under the sky and in the hospital) and readings at our Senior citizen home. The primary schools have enjoyed the Musical Mina Marina and they have gotten more insights of how Nature and Environment works and how we can protect those, in collaboration with the Nature and the /epic Foundation in 2008 and 2009, and where Nature and Environment excursions were part of the program. We will keep reaching out to thousands of children and young adults in Sint Maarten and the region.
Beyond Kultura has also made a Documentary about 10 years of Beyond Writing Foundation and its accomplishments during those years. We have also been proofreading literature work of others and participated on Children book festivals and or Book fairs, literature fairs/festivals in Aruba, Curaçao, Saba, Statia, Bonaire, Surinam, Cuba and the Caribbean Literature Day in Holland.
Our literature pillar has shown the strongest in the past, but we want to widen our horizon with strengthening the other pillars we have embraced, like: Nature & Environment, Cultural Heritage and History and Economic and Regional outreach. We would like to develop more projects and are determined to reach our goals attached to our 5 pillars (themes). For this, we need more people on board of this ship heading forward with its creative journey.
‘Our board has been working hard to fulfill our commitments and goals, but we need committed volunteers to strengthen our foundation’, Rita Aikman, the treasurer of BKF stated. With more creative minded people with vision strengthening us and with the support of donors, giving simple donations, you can help our foundation in realizing our goals in embracing creativity throughout the region.’
Let’s make Sint Maarten a unique center of creative, innovative thinkers in the wider Caribbean’, Morales added.
Are you interested to join? Check out our website www.beyondkulturaevents.com or call us at 5271223 for more info.
BKE Foundation Press Release