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SEA Work Conference for study success Caribbean students

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The second SEA working conference was held today (Friday) in Curaçao, with all islands of the Caribbean and the Netherlands represented. SEA, or Strategic Education Alliance, has the primary goal of promoting study success and equity for Caribbean students. It also focused on the SEA priorities.

Throughout the conference, several panels and working sessions were held aimed at improving the study success of Caribbean students. The focus, in particular being the connection of secondary education to mbo/sbo.

Attention was also paid to the SEA's three focal points, namely facilitating mobility for students within the Kingdom, providing transitional training for students wishing to embark on a university education, and conducting research on improving the connection between education and the labor market.

Both Secondary Education schools and mbo/sbo schools from the Caribbean were present, along with some Dutch schools. In addition, students from across the Kingdom actively participated in the working conference and were able to make valuable contributions to the discussions and activities.

SEA's working conference aims to provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices. The ultimate goal is to strengthen education and increase opportunities for all Caribbean students.

SEA pix3 Programma manager SEA

SEA pix1 Decaan en andere deelnemers

SEA pix 2 PM SEA en student

 

 

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BTP St. Maarten embarks on Corporate Governance trajectory

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) is proud to announce the commencement of a corporate governance trajectory aimed at reinforcing the organization's internal structure and operational practices. Spearheaded by an esteemed external law firm, this project signifies BTP's commitment to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance within the telecom industry.

The primary objective of this initiative is to instill and operate on the best corporate governance principles, thereby enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of BTP's internal operations. By leading by example, BTP aims to set a benchmark for corporate governance practices within the industry.

Mrs. Judianne Labega-Hoeve, Interim Director of BTP, expressed her enthusiasm about the trajectory, stating, "At BTP, we recognize the critical importance of corporate governance in regulating the telecom industry effectively. By embarking on this trajectory, we aim to ensure that our organization operates with transparency, accountability, improved decision-making processes, and integrity, ultimately benefiting both our stakeholders and the broader community."

Integral to this endeavor is the joined effort of BTP's Supervisory Board, which will play a crucial role in overseeing the implementation of governance measures. The board will provide guidance and support to ensure that BTP operates in accordance with established principles and best practices. By adopting these principles, BTP aims to strengthen its position as a leading regulatory authority in the region and contribute to the sustainable development of St. Maarten's telecommunications sector.

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Ministry of TEATT Addresses Recent Vandalism of Benches on Front Street

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT) of St. Maarten is deeply concerned by recent acts of vandalism targeting the newly installed concrete benches on Front Street. This act not only undermines the government's efforts to enhance the experience of residents and visitors but also reflects a disregard for the collective well-being of our community.

The decision to install benches on Front Street was a direct response to feedback received from tourists, local businesses, and residents. Overwhelmingly, there was a consensus on the need for additional seating options and measures to address the rampant parking issues that needed improvement and obstructing Front Street's beauty.

Minister Arthur Lambriex emphasizes that the benches were not implemented to serve individual interests but were part of a broader initiative aimed at improving the overall accessibility and aesthetic appeal of Front Street. The absence of seating and the

chaotic parking situation not only affected the visual appeal of our beloved Philipsburg but also hindered mobility for pedestrians, including those with limited mobility, especially those in wheelchairs.

It is disappointing that specific individuals have chosen to vandalize these public amenities intended to benefit the entire community.

Furthermore, Minister Lambriex urges local media houses to report responsibly and refrain from sensationalizing adverse events without considering the broader context.

While constructive criticism is essential for progress, it is equally important to acknowledge and highlight the positive steps taken by the government to address pressing issues.

In closing, the Ministry of TEATT remains committed to promoting sustainable development and enhancing the quality of life for all residents and visitors of St. Maarten. Acts of vandalism will not deter our efforts to create a vibrant and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy. Minister Lambriex has also been in close contact with St Maarten Police Force to strictly enforce the No Parking on sidewalks and where not designated as well as to find those responsible for destruction and vandalism of the public benches.

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ENNIA Resolution: Signing of the Outline Agreement

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - The Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten (CBCS) and the governments of Curaçao and Sint Maarten have signed the Outline Agreement for the resolution of the problems at ENNIA today.

By jointly signing the Agreement, the parties have achieved, in good cooperation and in the interests of all ENNIA policyholders, a sustainable solution for this complex problem. The coming months the focus will be on the implementation of the Outline Agreement.

This process is an extensive one. Accuracy is therefore of great importance. The implementation is aimed at a restructuring that will provide for a partial restart of ENNIA, including the life insurer.

The part of ENNIA's insurance activities that will be the subject of the restart, will be continued outside the emergency measure, independently of the government. Long-term financial contributions from Curaçao and Sint Maarten and the CBCS will furthermore prevent a discount on insurance policies.

In connection with these financial contributions, a Resolution Fund will be established. The CBCS will keep all stakeholders at ENNIA informed as well as possible about the progress of the implementation.

During the implementation, the CBCS will continue to look after the interests of the joint creditors of the ENNIA group, including the policyholders.

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Bain keynote speaker at Women in Leadership Fundraising Gala on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - M. Ramone Bain “Keeper of the Famed” as called by the Washington post arrived in St. Maarten on Wednesday 10 April 2024 as keynote speaker for the Women in Leadership Fundraising Gala to be held on Saturday 13th of April 2024 at the Belair Community Center.

Angelique Romou & A Betta Place Foundation, a foundation started with the mission to create a better place for the people of Sint Maarten through community initiatives that touch and change the lives of its citizens, in their plight to continue to empower women on Sint Maarten and give back to the young female generation hosts its second Women in Leadership fundraising Gala on Saturday April 13, 2024, from 7:00 pm.

The Women in Leadership Fundraising Gala is an evening filled with inspirational women, a group of motivating panelists, guest speakers and female entertainers that will leave the attendees, inspired, and motivated to become all that they have ever dreamed to be.

Success stories, stories of the never-ending climb and all the good and not good times that lead to success. Women in attendance can expect great conversation, meaningful discussions, networking, entertainment, and a four-course dinner, all for a very worthy cause.

The funds raised at this event is all aimed at empowering women and girls and goes back into the community towards women-focused initiatives. This year the event will raise money for young girls to attend an all-expense paid trip to a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) summer program in the US.

This year the focus is on the Arts. Therefore, through this Gala, we will be providing young girls on the island, who have an interest and/or show a raw talent in STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) to have an opportunity to be exposed to advanced opportunities in the STEAM field.

The A Betta Place Foundation has fostered a Partnership with Bowie State University and the Charlotte Brookson academy of the Performing Arts, so that the girls can travel to Bowie State University in Maryland from July 1-July 10, 2024.

The students chosen for the Arts will be attending workshops in at least 4 art forms namely: * Dance * Drama * Visual Arts (digital media, animations, drawing and painting) * Music (instrument, voice, marching band).

The students will be getting a full-on college experience by sleeping on campus in dorms and eating in the cafeteria, also part of the experience will be a tour of all national landmarks in Washington DC.

All activities will close out with a recital in the Dionne Warwick Theater located on the Bowie State University campus where students will display all they have learned throughout the week.

This year’s highlight and keynote speaker is none other than – Ms. Raymone K. Bain, referred to as “Keeper of the Famed” by the Washington Post. She is the Founder/Chairman, of the Raymone K. Bain Companies, LLC, she is a Media and Management Strategist, Social Justice Advocate, Philanthropist and recent recipient of the 2023 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the 46th President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and also recipient of the 2016 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Ms. Bain is a trailblazer, she is one of the first women in the US to own a sports Management firm, and the first African American woman to personally represent professional boxers.

These included boxing champions: Muhammad Ali, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, and Mike Tyson. Ms. Bain was Tennis GOAT, Serena Williams, and the Williams family’s very first publicist and spokesperson, and represented Ms. Williams in this capacity for over seven years.

In addition to Serena Williams, Ms. Bain also represented sports Hall-of-Famers and All-Stars, Dominique Wilkins, Dave Parker, Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, and Deion Sanders, now an award-winning college football coach. Count the late “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson; Iconic comedian Richard Pryor.

The Estate of Sammy Davis, Jr.; International Award-winning Pop icon Janet Jackson; 12-time Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. Award-winning television personality and iconic comedian, Steve Harvey; and award-winning, singing group Boyz II Men, among a long list of her high-profile, legendary, and trailblazing clients Ms. Bain will also be doing a school Tour where she will visit high schools to talk to talk to the students about the industries of sports and entertainment.

Important to note is that the Women in Leadership Gala “WILG” event is not only for women in leadership positions but women who are leading by breaking barriers in their respective areas, going against the conventional way of thinking and paving the way for others to follow, Women taking up their role in their households and communities to lead by example.

Last year’s event was a huge success and left women wanting more as a matter of fact we also want to encourage men to attend because the men who attended last year were all impressed by the power and depth of all the women who participated.

This fundraising event is not one to be missed as we empower, inspire, and ignite flames for all women. Call +1721 522-4559 or +1721 528-6006 for tickets and remember the date Saturday 13 April 2024 at the Belair Community Center.

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Pelgrim Commences with ‘Creating the Total Port Worker’ Certification Training for Stevedores+

SINT MAARTEN (POINT BLANCHE) – In order to satisfy the demands of one of the port’s biggest customers CMA CGM, businessman George Pelgrim President of St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring (SSS), considered the premier stevedoring services company on the island, has started a program that would ‘Create the Total Port Worker’ in cooperation with the Jamaican based Institute for Industrial Solutions (IIS) led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Trainer Osric Forrest, and Technical Expert/Assessor Radcliffe Spence.

A stevedore is an occupation where individuals oversee the loading and offloading of cargo to and/or from a ship in port. Stevedores work with heavy machinery while other related work is performed manually where the use of machinery is not required.

Stevedores are the interface between land and sea, where both the speed of cargo handling and the efficiency of the cargo ship voyage, depends upon their skills.

Currently 20-employees of SSS are participating in a workforce development program being administered by IIS. The training started on Friday, April 5 and concludes on Wednesday, April 10 with the distribution of certificates to the participants.

Stevedores perform a very important task once a cargo ship docks at the quay by loading or unloading cargo, which is then trucked to various businesses on the island for consumer consumption.

Pelgrim, a pioneer in the island’s shipping and maritime sector for more than 40-years, said on Sunday that since the advent of containerized shipping, the process has advanced with the use of an entire range of cargo handling gear. Stevedoring has evolved without a doubt due to containerization, Pelgrim added.

“This is the first time that SSS is training its seasoned employees where at the end of it, they will be internationally certified as stevedores. This is a first for St. Maarten. As a member of the Caribbean Shipping Association, and monitoring developments at the Caribbean Maritime Institute, we keep track of trends and developments, and as a stevedoring company, we need to keep pace with those international advances that come from ports and shipping companies.

“Our already seasoned stevedores will be on the same level as their Caribbean colleagues. Stevedores are skilled experts in what they do and play an increasingly important role on which we depend for efficient shipping processes. Ports need to be efficient to minimize port time and get the cargo ship back on its journey as soon as possible.

“This is just the beginning for the Intermar Group of Companies, of a relationship to further expand workforce development solutions for the maritime sector.  We will provide certification for our warehouse staff, heavy equipment operators, and maintenance division which ensures overall customer satisfaction due to the principles of efficiency and effectiveness,” George Pelgrim concluded.  

St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring NV was founded on June 23, 1985, with the sole aim to provide high quality port terminal stevedoring, trucking and other related cargo and maritime services to cargo lines serving port St. Maarten.

St. Maarten Shipping & Stevedoring NV is at present the largest inland container haulage transport company in St. Maarten/St. Martin providing round the clock container and heavy equipment delivery service to its customers.

The SSS fleet consists of heavy-duty Granite Mack and Boxloader container Tractor Trucks supported by a fleet of over 150 units of its own SSS 20 and 40FT container chassis fleet. 

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Brug says an approved 2024 budget is good for Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - In a media statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Richinel Brug expressed his appreciation to the Parliament of Sint Maarten for passing the 2024 budget. Brug, who is set to replace the leader of the URSM in Parliament once he swears in as Prime Minister, called this accomplishment significant in light of the current political situation.

Brug acknowledged the peculiar circumstances under which the outgoing Counsel of Ministers presented and defended the budget for the incoming Government, while assuming their roles as opposition members.

Brug highlighted the significance of this budget approval, noting that it not only guarantees the continuation of projects initiated before 2024 but also ensures the availability of funds to initiate the process of paying justice workers.

“It is crucial to recognize that receiving a signed decree, without appealing the content, is just the first step in a long process.” Brug expressed his hope that all stakeholders would prioritize this process, ensuring the signing of more than 25 decrees per week.

“The approval of the 2024 budget also brings positive news for (regular) civil servants and teachers, as it includes a long-awaited salary indexation retroactive to January 2024. This development is particularly noteworthy because it marks the first time in over a decade that salaries will be indexed. The last adjustment occurred back in 2012. This budget approval also enables the timely payment of the 2023-2024 vacation allowance payment of seven percent instead of the usual six percent. The salary indexation and increased vacation allowance provide a much-needed boost for civil servants and teachers whose salaries have not been indexed since 2012.”

Brug emphasized that the approval of the 2024 budget sets a positive precedent for future budgetary decisions. It demonstrates a commitment by both coalition and opposition partners to prioritizing ongoing projects and ensuring that previous commitments are honored. This continuity is crucial for the effective implementation of government initiatives and the maintenance of public services, setting the stage for progress and development, ensuring that essential services and initiatives can be continued and improved.

At the same time, Brug noted that the approved budget is certainly not perfect, as it does not contain sufficient initiatives that actually attempt to alleviate poverty in Sint Maarten, such as a structured school meal program and financial relief to seniors and single parents. According to Brug, the budget places too much responsibility on entities such as the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) and the Sint Maarten Developing Fund (SMDF) to tackle social projects. While these organizations undoubtedly have an important role to play, Brug argues that the government should take a more active approach in implementing projects that actually address poverty.

Brug's comments serve as a timely reminder to the incoming government that an approved budget does not mean they are devoid of power and influence. Instead, it should motivate them to actively participate in the execution of current and new projects throughout 2024. The budget serves as a framework, but it should not restrict the government's ability to shape policies and initiatives that address the needs of the people they represent.

Improving the budget's allocation of resources to poverty-alleviating projects should be a priority for the incoming government. By taking direct action and working on these initiatives, the incoming government will have the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of our Sint Maarten residents.

 

 

 

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Philipsburg Seventh-day Adventist Church Pays Tribute to Centenarian Queen Barbara Richardson

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - In awesome gratitude to God, the Seventh-day Adventist community on St. Maarten and further afield congratulates the very extraordinary Sister Barbara Richardson-Alexander, on her triple-digit milestone of one hundred years of life, on March 25, 2024.

Barbara Richardson, a Seventh-day Adventist for seventy-eight years, is affectionately called Sister Barbara, Sister Richie and Malu.

Sister Richie’s long life is punctuated with a myriad of blessings. She was blessed with a loving husband, the late Bro. Josier Richardson, with whom she shares nine adoring children: John Richardson, Dr. Lloyd Richardson, James Richardson, Glen Richardson (deceased), Barbara Nicholls-Richardson, Owen Richardson, Daphne Richardson and two adopted children, Heather Williams-Brookes and Aline Sandra McQuilkin.

Her fifteen wonderful grandchildren and nineteen great-grandchildren are also special blessings in her life. Malu’s motherly love and passion for children radiate in that not only is she a mother to her own children, but her life has been blessed with many others in whose lives she has played a motherly, supportive role.

One may enquire of Sister Richie’s healthy aging secret as centenarians are usually rare. It is of interest to note that her oldest sister is 104, while their grandmother holds the record in their native Grenada, having lived to 115 years.

In the case of Sis. Ritchie, two of her children shed light on the secret to her long life. They cited that their mother’s faith in God and her practicing a healthy lifestyle are contributing factors that aid in preserving her life.

In fact, Sis. Richardson has been a strict vegan for over seventy years. A close friend of this affectionate centurion added that Sister Richie’s close connection with God along with the points mentioned above have contributed to her longevity.

No wonder, Barbara’s favourite Bible text and song respectively are ‘God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ and ’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus’.

Lady Barbara Richardson has been known to be consistently active in her church community. In her youthful days, Sister Richie taught the preparation of gluten to the church community and what a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment her past students recalled, having mastered the craft with galvanized energy.

Gluten was also usually a part of the meal she prepared for the volunteering workers during the initial building of the Philipsburg Seventh-day Adventist Church years ago. Barbara Richardson herself volunteered in various capacities in most of the departments of the Philipsburg Seventh-Day Adventist Church where she still worships.

As a member of the Philipsburg SDA Church, Sis. Barbara has ministered with enthusiasm in diverse ministries. She served as Sabbath School superintendent, head deaconess, choir member, Dorcas member, (community service member), Vacation Bible School director, Sabbath School teacher, member of the building committee, to name a few.

In her more active years, it was also a pleasure for her to beautify the church with her eye-catching floral arrangements that enhanced the ambience of the sanctuary. These lovely flowers were picked from her very own garden. She has since passed on this floral arrangement ministry to her second daughter, Daphne Richardson.

A significant feat for Sis Richie relates to her dedicated and committed service to her neighborhood and wider community. As a naturally sacrificial donor, she enjoyed baking, making vegetarian pizza, singing, doing embroidery, visiting the sick and caring for her neighbours. Her impact within her neighborhood was so profound that Malu became known as the ‘village babysitter’.

On the matter of education, Barbara Richardson is passionate about and a strong advocate for Adventist education. In light of this, a number of her children have been educated at Seventh-day Adventist universities in different parts of the world.

This trend is also reflected in the family choosing Adventist educational institutions for the educational path for her grandchildren. The family has also contributed to the promotion of Adventist education on the island and within Adventist circles.

At one hundred years old, Mrs. Richardson is cognitively sharp as a razor as currently evidenced by her memory of birthdays and anniversaries of family members and many others with whom she interacted over the years.

She does not exude a dull and lethargic persona, nor mannerism lacking luster. In fact, she continues to attend the Philipsburg Seventh-day Adventist church where she remains a member and where she can be observed making her way to the car aided by her daughter, smiling energetically and engagingly. Dull and lethargic? No! No! This is not the reality for centurion Barbara Richardson!

In framing the legacy of the extraordinary Sister Babara, she confidently exhibits the characteristics captured in Psalm 31:28: ‘Her children rise up and call her blessed’.

One of her daughters pointed out that she will ever be grateful to her mother Barbara Richardson for her faithfulness in her Christian belief over the years. Another submitted that she values her mother’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that her children ‘trod on the strait and narrow path’, which included lovingly and affectionately correcting them, while not sparing the “rod of correction.”

In conversation with a number of individuals it is clear that Barbara Richardson has cemented an indelible mark on not only her children but others.

They described her as being patient, dignified, tactful, hardworking, encouraging, caring and reliable. It is said that her life reflects the epitome of community, productivity, integrity, and love.

Mrs. Barbara Richardson has voyaged through an impactful century epitomizing the qualities of hardwork, dedication to God and a healthy lifestyle. It is with esteemed honour and joy that we celebrate the inspirational and purposeful life of our centenarian queen.

CENTEN in church

Barbara Richardson with one of her sons, Dr. Lloyd Richardson at Philipsburg SDA Church on March 23rd, 2024

 

CENTEN grands and three children

 Barbara Richardson with three of her children and her grand children.

 

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Philipsburg Market Place Reconstruction Approved

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Following a meeting of the Council of Ministers held on Thursday, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunication (TEATT) the Honorable Arthur Lambriex announced 
the "long-awaited reconstruction of the Philipsburg Market Place is now officially approved."
"We have undertaken all necessary preparations to commence the Groundbreaking ceremony and propel the project forward with full momentum. After extensive deliberation and careful consideration with my fellow Ministers, the Ministry of TEATT has obtained approval to execute this long-awaited project," said Lambriex.
Lambriex said, "The vendors in Philipsburg will soon receive notice regarding the relocation to the allotted nearby temporary location on the grounds of the old Government Administration Building. This location will be used for the vendors to conduct their sales while the project is executed."
He said, "The groundbreaking ceremony will be announced subsequently to mark the commencement of this much-needed transformation."
After years of anticipation following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma and Maria in 2017, the wheels of progress are finally in motion.
The project is scheduled to be completed within 3 months after the commencement date. According to Minister Lambriex, the final result of the new Market Place "will be something we can all take pride in and be proud of. Once completed, this initiative will contribute to Philipsburg's overall beautification and attractiveness, enhancing foot traffic to the area."
The project has challenged the Ministry of TEATT, as evidenced by several false starts and at least three new designs, due to administrative challenges the government faced with several governments over the past six years trying to execute this project. 
Expressing his satisfaction following Thursday's CoM meeting, Minister Lambriex said, "I am personally thrilled and grateful to have been part of this journey. Making a tangible difference and addressing necessary improvements is a true blessing. 
Although it was short-term in office, it was focused, and today, we celebrate our achievement. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my fellow Ministers and all cabinet staff members who played pivotal roles. Without your dedication, this would not have been possible. I also want to thank Member of Parliament, the Honorable Akeem Arrindell, for having the confidence and trust in me to be Minister of TEATT. 
To our financers for this project, "Thank You", as without you, we would not be able to realize this project."
With meticulous planning and unwavering determination, all necessary preparations have been made to kick start the project. Lambriex also extends sincere thanks to the Vendors at the Philipsburg Market Place, who have endured the challenges of working in less-than-adequate conditions to offer some memories to our visitors. "I sincerely appreciate the patience of our Vendors at the Philipsburg Marketplace. You have waited too long for this project, and I hope you will be able to enjoy it for many years to come once it is completed. 
Lambriex considers the Philipsburg Market Place a key aspect of the revitalization and beautification plans for Philipsburg. The goal of the Ministry of TEATT is to make Philipsburg a unique and more accessible place for residents and visitors to St. Maarten. 
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SCDF loses yet another night due to decision to grant outside events permit

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The snowball effect of granting outside events permits for the Carnival season continues unabated as yet another major show promoter has decided that the risk is too high for Carnival 2024. The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Wednesday informed the general public that Sisu BV, promoters of the Afro Riddimz show on Friday, May 3, has informed the foundation via letter that it is no longer tenable to host that event. Sisu BV will however, still host its other show night on April 26.

The decision by the Minister of Justice to allow outside events in the Carnival period, has not only pitted shows against each other, but has reduced investor/sponsor confidence and contributions across the board. The SCDF from the outset had stated that the “bigger picture” everyone is missing is the financial consequences of the Minister’s decision for not just the SCDF, but all stake holders involved.

In the letter dated March 18, Sisu BV states: “The reality of the Carnival period now having competing events is not an occurrence that anyone could have planned for after 53 years of carnival. As promoters you try to minimize your risk while hosting a quality event. No one expected to be faced with the challenges created this Carnival season which increased the risk for promoters significantly and reduced investor/sponsor confidence. As stakeholders who cherish Carnival, it is crucial to deliver a high-quality product that adds value to the festivities while ensuring profitability to reinvest in Carnival for the future.”

“This year’s edition of Carnival has been faced with quite some negative challenges, placing promoters and the SCDF alike in some unprecedented & untenable situations. The uncertainties surrounding Carnival have left many sponsors hesitant to invest in specific events within the village.”

The letter continues: “Of great importance to recall is the dim experience of carnival 2023; with all of the unexpected challenges linked to the organizing of the Hip hop night SISU incurred severe financial losses, and the intention with regards to Sisu BV having two nights this year was to recoup some of those financial losses. However, given the current situation, it appears that more losses may occur than in the prior year, a risk that Sisu BV cannot afford to take.”

SCDF President Edwardo Radjouki repeated what the foundation said was going to happen after the unprecedented move to allow other events in April. “Many people do not understand that at the end of the day that decisions would negatively affect the product of Carnival and how. There were no consultations to grasp the severity of those decisions. Here we are today now with open nights on the schedule, a significant loss in revenue and a volunteer organization like the SCDF struggling to figure out how it will pull off this Carnival,” he said.

He added that he has no answers to give the public at present, but assured that the foundation will do everything within its power and within its financial means to try and address the situation. He also said that the foundation cannot guarantee that there won’t be additional changes coming considering loss of revenue. Radjouki also did not rule out seeking legal advice to address financial losses and damages.

SiSu Bv concluded by stating: “Our focus will now be on making April 26th “Stink & Dutty” (jouvert soca show) an unforgettable experience for all attendees, as our utmost contribution to the Carnival's success.”

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