CAY HILL - Rotary Sunrise closed off its “Rotary has Heart” initiative by hosting a 3-course dinner event for children from a foster home on Sint Maarten. This event was a collaboration with the National Institute for Professional Advancement, NIPA. The purpose of the event was to offer the children a real life experience dining in a fancy restaurant, served a 3-course meal with aperitif, main course and desert. The aim of this project was twofold: 1) to have the members actively involved throughout the entire process from purchasing of the groceries until the preparation and serving of the meal and cleaning up after; and 2) to do the project in a joint venture with NIPA.
The purpose for collaborating with NIPA was to promote the educational opportunities they offer to the youth of Sint Maarten to learn a vocation in their home country. The project also offered NIPA an opportunity to teach students service to the community by volunteering in the event.
With the unwavering support from Ms Renata de Weever, Hospitality Coordinator at NIPA, a menu was put together to suit the taste of the children, groceries were purchased and on the day of the event, NIPA opened their fully equipped professional kitchen to volunteering Rotarians to cook. Students from NIPA volunteered their time to assist in the coaching of the Rotarians for the preparation of the recipes.
The funds for the event came from fundraising through selling of Rotary has Heart aprons; all volunteers were asked to put on their apron for the event.
The event also had an educational aspect; before serving the children their meal, Ms Renata de Weever, gave the children instructions on table etiquette for professionals. They learned about how to set the table and how to use spoon, fork and knife during a dinner. Each of the children received a handout with these instructions to take home for future reference.
Twenty children in total ranging in age from 1 – 18 years old came to the dinner accompanied by three caretakers. The dinner was a delicious fun experience for the children that ended with spontaneous karaoke singing from the NIPA students and the children from the home.
During the closing remarks, President Virginia Asin expounded on the potential power of youth for the future of Sint Maarten fitting into the Rotary International’s year theme “Light Up Rotary”, which was derived by a Chinese proverb “it is better to light a single candle than curse the darkness”. She encouraged everyone to be a source of light in the world.
President Asin was very ecstatic about the final activity in the series of events from Rotary Sunrise “Rotary has Heart” initiative and expressed her gratitude and appreciation to NIPA for giving the club to make use of their facilities and students for this project.