SAUNDERS–The Office of the Dutch Representative in Philipsburg VNP, St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) and Windward Islands Bank (WIB) recently joined forces to replace the Hurricane Irma-damaged roof of New Start for Children foster home. The foster home cares for 23 children who together with caretakers were living under tarpaulin and sheets of plywood.
With a budget of some NAf. 82,000 the roof repair cost was shared with VNP covering 55 per cent, SMDF 25 per cent and WIB 20 per cent.
The foster home run by seniors Sally and Edward Benjamin had no insurance, making the outlook for repairs bleak. SMDF reached out in December 2017 to Dutch Representative Chris Johnson and WIB Managing Director Derek Downes to enter into a cost-sharing arrangement to build a new roof for the foster home.
With the VNP and WIB on board, SMDF organised bidding procedures for the rebuilding in February. After reviewing three bids to replace the 2,590-square-foot roof, the winning contractor was Elite Development. The work was completed in 11 weeks.
Touring the foster home, Johnson and Downes thanked the Benjamins for their commitment to St. Maarten’s children.
SMDF and the Benjamins are very grateful to VNP and WIB for their contribution and commitment to the project said Keith Franca of SMDF.
A short time after Irma, SMDF went to the foster home’s aid by replacing NAf. 2,400 worth of mattresses destroyed due to water damage.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78787-dutch-rep-smdf-and-wib-help-foster-home