SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Hon. Silveria Jacobs on Saturday, July 2 attended the 25th anniversary ceremony of the Voluntary Corps Sint Maarten (VKS).
During her address on the occasion, Prime Minister Jacobs congratulated the VKS on their 25th anniversary and at the same time welcomed Alain A. Richardson, who was sworn in as Commander among other officers who were sworn during the anniversary event.
Jacobs said it was a privilege to be part of this very special ceremony that acknowledges the great work of so many who protect and serve the Sint Maarten community when called to do so, adding that all VKS members have a dedication to the safety and well-being of their communities.
Prime Minister Jacobs delivered the following speech during the ceremony on Saturday: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ People the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety of reasons: to help to eliminate poverty and to improve basic health and education, to tackle environmental issues, to reduce the risk of disasters or to combat social exclusion and violent conflict.
“In all of these fields, volunteerism makes a specific contribution by generating well-being for people and their communities.
“The Voluntary Corps Sint Maarten (VKS) was formally established on June 28, 1997. The first group consisted of about 30 members and over the years, the number of volunteers increased to 100 over time. While it continues to fluctuate, it is the aim to increase membership to approximately 75 members.
“The VKS combines efforts with Justice to secure the Huis van Bewaring, Point Blanche Prison as well as support to the Police Corps based on necessity. The VKS trains with the locally established Marine Detachment and in the case of the appointment of the Commander of the VKS, as prescribed by law, informs the Brigade General of the Marines stationed in Curacao of our intention.
“During a state of emergency or during large events the assistance of the VKS officers are requested and much appreciated as national order must be upheld at all times. I am looking forward to improving the housing situation of the VKS, as I understand the current location creates many challenges.
“We recognize the financial constraints of all our institutions, and VKS is no exception. I remain open to discussing possibilities for improvement in this with a multi-annual approach.
“The Voluntary Corps Sint Maarten have accomplished so much in 25-years the VKS has been in existence. You have had and continue to have a profound impact on our community, and this service has in turn transformed the officers promoted throughout the ranks into the community leaders we’ve grown to respect.”