400 school uniforms donated by Childfund Sint Maarten

400 school uniforms donated  by Childfund Sint Maarten

Gerrit-Jan Greven (rear, left) with Asha Steven Hillside Christian School principal Stephanie Deerveld (rear, right) presenting pupils with school uniforms.


PHILIPSBURG--Childfund Sint Maarten Foundation, based in the Netherlands, is providing new school uniforms to 400 primary and secondary school students for the 2021/2022 school year.

  On Tuesday, 26 schools received vouchers allowing them to help up to 15 of their most vulnerable students who are in need of assistance in purchasing school uniforms.

  Foundation chairman Gerrit-Jan Greven was present at Hillside Christian School Helmich Snijders Campus in St. Peters where he delivered a presentation on the voucher project to representatives of each school.

  During the presentation Greven provided clarity on the project and more about the vouchers and how they work. He explained that each school would receive 15 vouchers, which would amount to 30 school uniforms. Schools had to provide the foundation with a list of 15 of the most vulnerable students who would most benefit from the donation. Each child would then receive two uniforms.

  This donation would amount to approximately US $30,000. Each voucher is worth $100. He said vouchers were used as a means to ensure a smooth process for everyone – schools, parents and uniform suppliers.

  After the presentation many persons stood and expressed their gratitude for the foundation’s generous donation.

  Earlier that day, Greven symbolically presented two sets of uniforms to pupils of Hillside Christian School in Cay Hill. Also present were Nina Edstrom-Sitra and Principal Stephanie Deerveld.

  In an interview with The Daily Herald, Greven explained how the project was formalised. He first visited St. Maarten in 2018 to assist the St. Maarten Police Force, when he remained for five months. During his stay, he saw first-hand the lasting impact of the devastation caused by the passing of Hurricane Irma in 2017. It was during this time that he decided to provide assistance to at least one family in need.

  He said one family soon grew to more than 40 families after visiting the Sucker Garden shelter. Thanks to the support he received from others back home and here locally who wished to help him, he was able to donate much-needed materials and supplies to those in need.

  After completing this project, he was left inspired to do more. Greven said he had worked together with Member of Parliament (MP) Angelique Romou in 2020 to provide assistance for persons most affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  In response, the foundation provided funds to contribute towards the supply and distribution of food packages for persons in the community.

  His next project was to help the children in the community. He explained that the school uniform donation project had been slated to take place in November 2019. The foundation was established around the same time.

  He explained that the project had been unable to follow through in 2019 due to a late transfer of promised funds. Funding for the project is provided by the Ministry of Justice and Security. This was later postponed to 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic presented another setback. He was happy to say that the foundation could finally carry out its promise and fulfil its goals of helping students in St. Maarten.

  He said the foundation hopes to return and provide further assistance to those in need once again.

The Daily Herald

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