PHILIPSBURG:—- Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Alexander Pechtold and Senator Meta Meijer concluded their visit to Sint Maarten on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Both arrived on the island to take part in an international team of observers during Monday’s elections.
On Tuesday, Chris Johnson, head of the Dutch Representation office on St. Maarten, updated Pechtold and Meijer on the reconstruction progress of the island. The day consisted of a tour on both sides of the island, which included visits to a number of care institutions.
The delegation stopped by the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF), where Director Bregje Boetekees informed the party on the status of the job training and roof repair programs that were made possible by the early recovery funds provided by the Netherlands. Meijer: “I was happy to meet some of the residents at the WYCCF and hear their first-hand accounts of the hurricane. ”
During the afternoon Pechtold, Meijer and Johnson spent time at the I Can Foundation. Cassandra Gibbs, President of I Can led the two parliamentarians around the children’s home. She shared the experience of staff and kids during the hurricane, what repairs still have to be done and which improvements the foundation is hoping to make a reality.
Pechtold has visited with the foundation on every trip he has made to the island for the past thirteen years. “As always, I am impressed by the work that is happening at the I Can Foundation,” Pechtold mentioned to Gibbs after the tour. He also added: “I would encourage those on and off the island to help NGO’s like the I Can Foundation, whenever they can.”
At the end of the day, the delegation had dinner with various involved members of the community to discuss their views in regards to the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. Pechtold and Meijer ended their trip by attending meetings with Governor Eugene Holiday and President of Parliament Sarah A. Wescot-Williams.
“It is always great having high-level delegations here that continue to keep the focus on Sint Maarten and its need for help and recovery. The two members of the Dutch Parliament were able to see a lot on the island and engage many persons from all walks of life. Their involvement is always much appreciated,” commented Johnson on the visit.