Chinese Consul donates $105,000 to St. Maarten | THE DAILY HERALD

VSA Minister Emil Lee and Chinese Consul-General Zhang Weixin.


PHILIPSBURG–Chinese Consul-General Zhang Weixin had donated US $105,000 to the Government of St. Maarten which was earmarked for temporary housing.

As St. Maarten is now in a different phase of recovery, the funds were used for start-up and monthly cost associated with the Hurricane Irma Reintegration Programme Shelter (HIRPS), which is located in Sucker Garden. The donation was made on behalf of the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Willemstad.

The HIRPS aims to help homeless people reintegrate themselves back into society after being displaced as a result of the devastation suffered by hurricane Irma in 2017. The Consul-General with his staff toured the facility with head of Department of Foreign Relations Khalilah Peters and manager of the facility during a recent visit to the island. The Consul General expressed his “satisfaction with the project and wished the island a smooth reconstruction and a better future.”

On March 30, some 43 persons were transferred to HIRPS in Sucker Garden. Since then 20 persons have rotated out of the shelter and several others have been admitted. Several of the persons that have rotated out have found permanent lodging or their roofs have been repaired, either through insurances, various repair programmes or own savings. As the various roof repair programmes continue, several persons whose roofs are being repaired are expected to rotate into the HIRPS for temporary housing.

There are three 3 social workers active at the shelter, whose tasks include counselling, assisting with resumes and job coaching, assisting with finding apartments for rent, assisting the seniors in addition to several other tasks. The shelter is monitored by security 24 hours a day to enforce the rules and regulations of the shelter and ensure the safety of the residents and premises at all times.

Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA Emil Lee thanked Weixin for supporting the reallocation of their donation to assist some of the neediest in the community. “Their contribution helps our people to live in a safe, decent, nurturing and supportive environment, where they can recover and restructure their lives and to reintegrate back into our community,” Lee said in a press release on Thursday.

Persons can assess their eligibility for admittance to the HIRPS, by contacting Dr. Judith Arndell at 520-4747 or email: or social workers at the Department of Social Services at the Government Building 542-5694.

Source: The Daily Herald