Soualiga Newsday Features


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Soualiga Newsday Features (3201)

Population Ageing Trends High on the Agenda for Social Development

PHILIPSBURG - The Symposium on Ageing held last week Wednesday acted as the first step in spreading the awareness about the challenges of an ageing population and letting the public know that this issue is high on the agenda of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development, and Labour (VSA). Based on the feedback from the audience at the symposium, Social Development is headed in the right direction when it comes to identifying the key priority areas St. Maarten is dealing with due to an increase in the ageing population.

Key priority areas that were presented to the audience at the symposium included:  (1) increased social participation of the elderly, (2) promotion of independent and assisted living for the elderly, and (3) increased community collaboration for efficient and effective services for the elderly. Invited suggestions or recommendations provided by the audience will be used as additional information to shape the development of the vision and framework.
“A population is considered ageing when more than 10% of the population is 60+. In St. Maarten 13.9% of the population is 60+, putting us well on the map of the global trend of ageing populations. Current trends are illustrating that more and more of our population are living 20 to 40 years longer. Coping with this dramatic shift presents many challenges. Such as the increased demand for more facilities and services that cater to seniors who are more dependent on others. Another challenge is the decreasing numbers of person who are economically active which ultimately hampers the social security system that is in place.
Dealing with a society that is ageing from a social, economic, and cultural perspective means we must ensure that resources are reserved towards improving and expanding current infrastructure, services and restructuring the social security system. These are only some of the challenges that need to be explored in collaboration with key stakeholders”, said Minister Cornelius de Weever in an invited statement.
The Department of Social Development has announced their commitment to having an all-inclusive approach to the development of an ageing vision and strategic framework for St. Maarten. Once a plan of approach has been approved by the Council of Ministers the department intends to get all key stakeholders such as relevant ministries and NGOS involved in the process. Together solutions will be developed to tackle the challenges posed by an increasingly ageing population. The official step in moving towards a vision and framework for the ageing population on St. Maarten was announced by Ms. Joy Arnell Acting Secretary-General/ Department Head of Social Development at the symposium.
Minister Cornelius de Weever has given the Department of Social Development his full support in preparing the framework to secure the well-being of the community for the current and future elders. 


St. Maarten Cable TV and Lifetime TV Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

MADAME ESTATE – Customers who visit the St. Maarten Cable TV office in Madame Estate during the month of October will be wowed by the lovely pink décor symbolizing St. Maarten Cable TV’s support in promoting Breast Cancer Awareness. This was courtesy of our Team Pink decorators which are some of our staff.  In coordination with observing Breast Cancer Awareness month, St. Maarten Cable TV has partnered with Lifetime TV to kick off a promotion on their Facebook page called, “Early Detection Saves Lives”.

Managing Director, Beulah Jonis stated, “We have been partnering with Lifetime TV for over five years in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This year, Lifetime TV has supplied us with their Signature Tote Bag of which we will be presenting three lucky winners of our Facebook contest.” Jonis continued.

To enter the Facebook contest, participants are asked to visit the St. Maarten Cable TV’s Face Book page; Participants must “Like” and “Share” the picture of St. Maarten Cable TV and Lifetime TV Breast Cancer Awareness, then send a private message via the companies Face Book Page with their name and contact number.  The contest is open to anyone living on St. Maarten.  We have also made provisions for persons visiting our office in Madame Estate to complete a raffle ticket and drop in our raffle bin. The lucky winners’ names will be drawn on October 29, 2014 and will be announced on St. Maarten Cable TV’s Facebook page on October 30, 2014.

Jonis concluded by stating, “During the month of October, St. Maarten Cable TV, with support of Lifetime TV, St. Maarten Cable TV will have several initiatives related to Breast Cancer Awareness and we ask our subscribers and the general public to visit our Face Book Page and the tune in to the media for updates.”

Customers are also encouraged to visit St. Maarten Cable TV’s website for additional information about CableNet at  and “Like Us” on the Facebook website at


WBA and Motorworld & Jeep present Ladies Basketball Championship Officially Opens with Grand Ceremony.

SUCKER GARDEN - On Sunday October 5th, 2014 the official opening ceremony was held at the Melford Hazel Sports Complex in Sucker Garden.  The day was filled with an all-female event to showcase the talented and educated girls and ladies on the island.

The opening ceremony started off with a wonderful march around the building lead by an all-female cast of the Generation New Status Drum Band with all five teams which are Bush Tea Remedy, Lava Girlz, Learning Unlimited, Lightning and Thunderz and referees and table officials of LBC.

The program then started with a beautiful opening prayer by apostle Ms. Alicia Liverpool, St. Maarten Anthem by Supral Jads followed by speeches by our Honorable Prime Minister Ms. Sarah Wescot Williams, Head of Sports Ms. Jonelle Richardson, representative of our main sponsor Motorworld and Jeep Ms. Manisha Amjad, Ms. Marcellina Loblack with her powerful speech about Breast Cancer awareness followed by Telcel Breakthrough rap segment winner Serenity and female rapper SoloKween. Music was provided by DJ Biggers and DJ Lil R of Big & Serious Sounds

The highlights of the day came when the Prime Minister, Ms Sarah Wescot Williams and Walichi Basketball Association president & former basketball player Ms. Silvia Monte made a free throw to open the season. It was filled with ooh's and ahh's while the players and persons in attendance jumped up and down and clapped when Ms. Sarah and Ms. Silvia made their shots.

The other highlight of the game was the exhibition game between four of the teams. Lava Girlz & Lightning formed one team and Thunderz & Bush Tea Remedy formed the other. It was filled with three pointers, and 1's, tough and gritty play especially when on a possession one player blocked the other team's player three times in a row where the Melford Hazel complex erupted with cheers and excitement.

All in all, it was a great fun filled day and it wouldn't have been possible without our  sponsors  Motorworld & Jeep, Leonard Enterprises, GEBE NV, MGM Consultants, Cash 4 Gold, Computech, B&C Beverages, Sign 999, AVS news online, productions by LBB, Heavenly Water and Orco Bank.

Look out for games every weekend at Melford Hazel on Saturdays from 6-7:30pm and Sundays from 3-6:30pm. See you this Saturday!!


Parliament in session on Thursday to review credentials of incoming MPs

PHILIPSBURG – There will be a plenary session of the House of Parliament on October 9th.

The plenary session is set for Thursday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda is related to incoming documents; the approval of the decision list; and the review of the credentials of the incoming members of parliament.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet, and also via


Social Media Photo Will Not Intimidate Police.

PHILIPSBURG - There is a photo currently being circulated on social media (face book), of some-one pointing an illegal firearm at a Police Patrol car.  As Acting Chief of Police, I would hereby like to send a strong message stating, that this behavior will not be tolerated whether in jest or not. I want the perpetrators to know that the same methods we used to find the photo, we will employ the same efforts and means to find the persons responsible for this punishable act. I would also like to warn the persons reposting and helping to spread this photo, to cease and refrain from doing so as this only serves to create fear within the community and you will be held accountable.

The police have been carrying out numerous controls and operations both visible to the public and behind the scenes, to curb crime and to rid the streets of illegal weapons; I want to make it known to those criminal elements in our society that we the police ' will not be intimidated, we will not be deterred from our mission and we will not back down.' Threatening a police officer is a very serious crime punishable by law.  It is something we take very seriously and will be launching a full investigation into this criminal act.

We the Korps Politie Sint Maarten; have collaborated with the French Police on a campaign called: Stop. Drop & Go, which will be officially launched on October 15th 2014. This program allows persons in possession of illegal firearm/s to bring their weapons to the office of the Solicitor General on Welfare road and drop them off, without fear of prosecution- no questions asked?

I am strongly advising persons in possession of illegal firearm/s to take advantage of this program, because once this grace period is over, anyone found in possession of any illegal weapon, will be prosecuted.

I also want to use this opportunity to thank members of the community who have been giving the police their full support, we are committed to continue our mandate to 'protect and to serve', but can only do so effectively if we have the cooperation and support from the community.

Commissioner Carl John

Acting Chief of Police


Minister Lake says we need to raise the bar of politics. Says he supports implementation of integrity report recommendations

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says we need to raise the bar of politics to a higher level.

“The voting population sent a strong message in this year's parliamentary elections to the candidates and also to the leaders of the different political parties. The people are looking for better representation, and the way the people’s business is being handled should be in an open and transparent manner which I fully support.

“We need to raise the bar for the next four years and take care of our people.  For the next four years I will be raising the bar in politics with my back to basics approach and take our country to the next level. 


“I have listened and read the newspaper where outside critics for the past two weeks who have had a lot to say, but it is we who have to take the reins and bring about the change.  As a new country, we have learnt a lot during the first four years of country status.

“We need to focus on the forest (country) instead of the trees (individuals).  It is not going to be easy but we got to make firm decisions in the best interest to move this country forward for our people to prosper in the future.

“I believe we have a very good team now in place to take this country forward.  It is what the people wanted and I am happy to be part of this team.

“Concerning the counterpart policy, this is nothing to fear, but we need all stakeholders to work together to make it work.  Annually we give out millions of guilders in scholarships and the country needs to get its return on the investment made.  Our young people want to work and we should be able to provide them with work once they get the training for the position.  They have nowhere else to go but here, and they should be able to find work at home.

“The next four years in Government will be critical for the country and we need to move forward or we are going to lose our competitive edge in the Caribbean.  

“We got back the results from the two integrity reports and we just got to implement the recommendations from the two reports. We don't need the outside world to define us.

“My mom always says: The people put their trust in you and all they are asking is for you to do the right thing with integrity and empower our people to succeed in their own country. I have no fear.  

“You only have fear when you did something wrong or gis uilty of something.  The only person I fear is GOD.  It takes a lot for a person to put their trust in you, and all they are asking from their elected representative is not to let them down and show integrity and make firm decisions with the people at the forefront in whatever you do, because it is the people who put you there.

“My vision is to empower our people to become and continue to be leaders within their country and the world.

We can only do this as one collective body within Government.

“We need to raise the bar in parliament.  If a project is good for the people, we got to get away from just focussing on the negatives of the project and put the emphasis on the benefits for the people, or bring a solution instead of just criticizing the project,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.


UP Calls on the nation to take part in Breast Cancer Awareness Activities for the month of October

POND ISLAND – The board of the United People's Party (UP) is calling on the Sint Maarten community to take part in various Breast Cancer Awareness activities that will be held for the month of October.

Countries around the world hold activities to help increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.

A Breast Cancer Awareness march organized by community based organizations is planned on Friday, October 3rd starting at the Festival Village in Philipsburg at 4.30pm. The march will end at the boardwalk and everybody is asked to wear something pink.  The UP invites everybody to come out and support this community based organized event.

“Health is your wealth!  This is one of the reasons during the 2014 election campaign; the UP made it a primary issue to improve health care in the country with the construction of a modern medical center where various common diseases in the community can be treated at home.

“A Member of Parliament-elect from the UP family is currently going through the process of dealing with breast cancer.  Our prayers and thoughts go out to her on a daily basis and to the people of this great country who suffer in one way or the other with something health related.

“The UP Party encourages the people of the country to always take a proactive approach when it comes to your health.  This can be done by going for an annual regular check-up to make sure everything is going well.  We need to remain together as a healthy nation moving forward and being our brother’s keeper," concluded the UP Board.

There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year, according to the World Health Organization.

Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide.  Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.

When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured.


AUC, Tzu Chi spruce up ACE school

CUL DE SAC - A group of 41 volunteers including medical students from American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers, St. Dominic High students and All Children’s Education (ACE) Foundation pupils joined hands to spruce up the ACE school with fresh coats of paint on Saturday, September 27.

The group of volunteers, which included professional tradesmen, also helped with some minor repairs at the elementary school, which included repairing damaged walls and fixing a broken sink, cabinets and a toilet.

Volunteers painted the interior and exterior of the school building and assisted with the cleaning of the school compound. Two Tzu Chi volunteers returned on Sunday to continue to help with some additional work that needed to be done at the institution.

The volunteer effort between Tzu Chi and AUC is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two for community service at the institution.

The group of volunteers included 18 doctors-in-training from AUC, 11 ACE pupils, 10 Tzu Chi volunteers and two St. Dominic High students, who participated as part of their school’s mandatory community service programme. The students will be credited for their volunteer effort as part of their community service hours.

Tzu Chi Foundation, which has been lending a helping hand to ACE for several years, provided the materials used for the exercise as well as provided edibles and beverages to the hard working volunteers.

Volunteer Davis Blanc, who participated in the exercise, said the volunteer effort had been especially rewarding for him. Blanc said he was being bogged down in his daily work routine and the effort gave his life new meaning. He enjoyed the volunteer effort so much that he stayed well beyond the 12:00pm scheduled end time to continue assisting at the school. Blanc said he felt good about himself and his efforts to assist and pledged to continue volunteering in the future.

Another volunteer affectionately referred to as “Culture,” who is also a professional tradesman, said he had been grateful to use his skills to help repair some of the damages at the school, as he was aware that the institution does not have a lot of funds to do all that needs to be done.

Culture and another volunteer continued the repair work at the school on Sunday.

Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung was very grateful to all who assisted. She extends heartfelt thanks the family of Tzu Chi volunteers as well as AUC, St. Dominic High and ACE students who all came out to assist in the successful effort.


Ministry VROMI Announces Road Closure Section of Front Street

FRONT STREET - Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that there will be interruption to the traffic flow at a section of Front Street for two days starting October 3rd.

The interruption to the road traffic will be on Friday, October 3rd from 5.00AM to 6.00AM.

The disruption is in connection with the placement of a 20-foot container in front of Holland House parking area.

The second disruption will take place on October 8th from 9.00PM and is in connection with the removal of the container from in front of Holland House.

Motorists are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs.  Heavy machinery will be in use during both aforementioned timeframes.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.


October 1st: International Day for Older Persons

PHILIPSBURG - This year’s theme for the 24th commemoration of the International Day for Older Persons; October 1st, is “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”. On this occasion the Department of Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour will like to acknowledge and show our appreciation to our seniors who have indeed worked and toiled ensuring that the succeeding generations can live in a developed and progressive society, as the St.Maarten we know today. In addition, we recognize and thank all the various organizations who are currently working on behalf of the elderly either by championing their issues, assisting with meals, providing care and recreational activities to them.                      

This year’s theme is in keeping with the goals of Community Development, Family and Humanitarian which is promoting the general well-being of the society. By fulfilling this goal one of our responsibility is to ensure community work and community development in the various neighborhoods on St. Maarten. When executing this task we encounter and intervene in many concerns that affect people’s daily lives, and by extension our seniors. In contrast we’ve also encountered seniors, despite the challenges of growing old, enjoy and embraces old age. This then begs to question why the difference. And the answer is simple PREPARATION.

In reflecting on this year’s theme and specifically “leaving no one behind” it is important to draw one’s attention to the pre-elderly those nearing their golden years; between the ages of 50-59 years old. Within the next 10 years or less our pre-elderly will become our elderly and the question is: ‘Have they been planning and preparing for the years to come’?  To avoid that our seniors experience hardships during old age, it is important that all stakeholders including the individual begin with preparations now. It is said one who fails to plan, plans to fail. Employing a proactive approach Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs is exploring the possibility of linking with potential stakeholders in developing an action plan for this specific objective in support of this target group.

Approaching this time in someone’s life might seem overwhelming  due to the overly concern of: loss of identify, boredom as a result of one’s extra times on their hands, no longer having a sense of value, financial security and the eminent decline in health. However, being pro-active by planning and preparing at an early stage might lessen the anxiety that comes along with ageing.

Things to consider in preparing for the golden years:

  • Improving or maintaining your health by either committing or(recommitting) to healthy eating and physical activity
  • Assessing one’s debt and overall expenses
  • Assessment of assets such as pension plans, insurances, property etc.
  • Consider turning your hobbies into income generating activities
  • Taking self-improvement classes
  • Partaking in volunteer work

Just remember, whatever you decide to do, don’t wait to begin preparing, even though it might seem as if it’s far way. Success depends upon previous preparation and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.

(Contributed by: Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs)

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