MARIGOT–Fifteen unemployed youngsters under the care of French Quarter’s Centre Symphorien d’ Insertion (CSI) left St. Martin on Thursday bound for Guadeloupe where they will spend three months learning the construction trade thanks to the sponsorship of several partners.
The group, six from French Quarter, three from Concordia in Marigot, and six from Sandy Ground were selected based on the trauma and difficulties they experienced after the hurricanes.
“Some had their homes completely destroyed and one even had to sleep in a car,” explained CSI President Marie-Paule Rousseau. “They were basically lost, without jobs and without training. But with our partners in Guadeloupe we came up with a plan for them to learn the construction trade, so they can contribute to the rebuilding of St. Martin.
“They will be paid for their training, and they will be housed and fed for free, and the air tickets are paid for. Even better, we have found five companies here in St. Martin willing to give them jobs on contracts when they return.”
She said each member of the group has had their documents and registration at Pôle Emploi verified beforehand to be sure they will get paid.
The group will be based in Moule, Guadeloupe, and the training will be held in Jarry, Baie Mahault, with training institute Formatec Caraïbes. Another partner, Apressi, will be organising social activities for the group at the weekends and the partner Sirocco will be organising sports.
A major part of the funding for this initiative has been provided by the Conseil General of Guadeloupe and Fondation de France, and in part by Ecole de Deuxieme Chance (second chance school).
“We are also sending with them additional clothes and toiletries in a travel bag (toothpaste, brush, soap, etc.), as they lost possessions in the hurricanes,” Rousseau noted. “They don’t have money to buy clothes, but one of our partners, La Ville de Abymes, will if needed collect clothes and shoes to keep them dressed properly for the three months.”
The Collectivité’s delinquency prevention department CLSPD and Bâtiments Travaux Publiques (BTP) are the local partners. Marie-Paule Rousseau and Sophia Willis accompanied the group to Guadeloupe to ensure the group gets settled in.