PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On Thursday, January 18th more than one hundred students from nine participating primary schools and afternoon care organizations received certificates of appreciation from Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite at a small ceremony held in the courtyard of the Government Administration Building. The auction which took place in November as one of the pre St. Martin’s Day activities raised over 15,000 guilders for much needed school repairs after the passing of Hurricane Irma.
In her welcoming remarks at the ceremony the Minister told the gathered audience that “the post Irma art auction gave us the opportunity to celebrate a silver lining of a very dark cloud. On that fateful day in September Hurricane Irma scarred this nation; not just in the physical, but it left a deep psychological impression that will last. However, under the guidance of their art teachers, students were tasked to creatively express how they felt after Irma and to put their ideas and feelings on large canvases. This fun, creative process was therapeutic for the children as it helped them process their emotions. Through this we as adults were able to understand their feelings on the hurricane and its aftermath from their own perspective”.
The Minister would once again like to thank the businesses that contributed to the auction. Kooyman N.V. for providing plywood and paint materials, Director Rita-Bourne Gumbs, wood shop teacher Mr. Oke and the students of the St. Maarten Vocational Training School for the arts boards and stands and Office World for the sponsoring of the paint used. The Minister especially thanks Lucinda Arduin and Education on the Move project leads Angelique Roumou-Martis for facilitating the project.
It is the Minister’s wish that projects such as this are able to continue on a regular basis, and that the Education, Culture, Youth and Sport ministry would also be able to organize other projects to highlight other art forms and showcase the wonderful talented youth and youngsters on the island.