st maarten judith roumou

Strengthening social organizations Sint Maarten

Friday, March 26, 2021 Civil society organizations play an important role on Sint Maarten, but many are still recovering from the effects of hurricane Irma. VNG International’s Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR) helps them in their recovery and in strengthening the island’s resilience. 

12 local projects are now in full swing. In mid-March, VNG International visited 2 local projects. The first project is the Stichting Seniorenrecreatie Sint Maarten. It offers 84 seniors day recreation and opportunities for social contact. With an R4CR subsidy, windows and shutters will be replaced to make the building hurricane and burglar proof. The first new windows have just been installed, followed by the shutters. 

Place to catch your breath

A second visit was to the God Bless Nanny Monique Nurssy Foundation. For decades, Nurse Monique has run an open house for anyone who is needy, homeless, sick, less fortunate, elderly, without a social safety net, and needs a place to catch their breath. Her building was badly damaged by the hurricane, but reconstruction is now in full swing. Monique: ‘This project has been a blessing to me. I’ve been doing this on my own for 30 years. This project is finally helping. ‘

The R4CR program makes the funds of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, which is managed by the World Bank, available to small social organizations. It supports local initiatives not only with funds, but also with training and capacity building on how to implement projects effectively, and creates a platform for exchange and collaboration with other organizations. The program has the ambition to ultimately have a greater socio-economic impact by strengthening civil society in Sint Maarten and thus contributing to the general resilience of the island. 

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