PHILIPSBURG–As K1 Britannia Foundation continues to look for ways to rebuild the island, it decided to collaborate with a group of six contractors led by Jacob Bonds of Jacob Bonds Quality Builders, to bring them to St. Maarten where they volunteered their time, tools and expertise to work.
The group has been working with the Foundation to rebuild and repair five institutions within the nine days they spent on island. During the week of work, more than US $11,500 was spent by all parties on materials and logistics to build and repair these institutions that work with children.
Among the institutions that received help with repairs and construction are New Start Foster Home and St. Maarten Youth Council (St. Peters Community).
A New Start Foster Home representative said, “We appreciate the volunteers fixing our gazebo very much, because our children now can have somewhere they can sit outside, play, have lunch or breakfast.”
Two youngsters worked alongside contractors during the construction work and were trained in building, construction and painting skills. The teenagers worked extremely hard to become a great part of the team and played a major role in the repairs that were conducted.
The youngsters’ work has gotten them job offers in the construction field. “This programme opened doors for them locally and internationally as well taught them that with hard work you can stay on the right path and achieve your goals,” the K1 Britannia stated in its press release.
Despite the destruction around them, the contractors were able to see the beauty of the country through its people and their commitment to help each other.
Aerial Stone, a volunteer, said, “I would mostly express my gratitude for the kindness that I found in St. Maarten and how much fun we had with everyone I met. Even in the face of adversity life was moving forward in a positive way.”
A few of them have even promised to come back during this year, both for leisure purposes and to provide further volunteer assistance.
This project was made possible through the help of:
Karakter Curaçao for the donated toolboxes, power drills, circular saws and grinders.
The contractors, who paid their own way to come to the island, donated $2,000 which was spent on purchasing materials and other tools from local businesses, and brought some tools with them from the US which were donated to the trainees and the Foundation to continue rebuilding the island.
Government accountants bureau SOAB, which helped with a donation towards some of the building materials and logistics of this project.
Motorworld/Thrifty for donating the use of a van, which was crucial in transporting contractors, volunteers and materials during the jobs at various worksites each day.
Kooyman for donating NAf. 3,000 worth of materials at its store.
Arena Base Café, for providing lunches during the week.
Orange Grove, which contributed towards the building materials and logistics.
Various other local and Dutch sponsors.
Although the focus was on five institutions during this project due to limited time, K1 continues to work with several local institutions to find solutions to assist them with the repairs and other materials they need to get back on their feet.
“We are currently in the process of collecting specific materials and equipment that various institutions need which was lost during the hurricane, as well as raising funds for specific building materials (such as hurricane-proof windows and doors, etc.) that certain institutions need.
“During this difficult time, organisations and institutions that care for the community had an increased workload but have been hit hard financially due to the difficulty with receiving donations and support during this time,” stated the Foundation on Sunday.
This is why, since Irma, K1 has focused on bringing assistance to as many of these institutions and organisations as possible, initially through providing food and water, and now with material assistance needed to help them to get back on their feet and be fully functional so they can continue effectively helping as many people as possible.
The Foundation is grateful and appreciative to all of those who made this project possible – all of the sponsors, trainees, K1 volunteers, etc. – but especially to the six contractors who chose to help St. Maarten despite all the devastation to their homes and surroundings from the California fires. St. Maarten and the children who have benefited from their hard work and love are thankful.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72521-k1-to-focus-on-children-while-rebuilding-island