The ribbon is cut for the new foster home in Union Farm.
UNION FARM--Foundation Judiciary Institutes St. Maarten SJIS opened its foster home for children ages thirteen through eighteen on Friday.
Minister of Justice Anna Richardson, together with St. Maarten Development Foundation (SMDF) director Makhicia Brooks, SJIS board member Ajamu Baly, pastor Vashni Cuvalay of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and foster-care coordinator Meredith Concincion, cut the ribbon marking the home’s official opening.
Currently, five children have been placed at the new home, which will be able to house 20 children when it is operating at capacity.
SMDF has been instrumental in making it possible for SJIS to make a significant step towards establishing a home for minors placed under supervision. “While there is no dispute that a loving and nurturing family home is the ideal place to raise a child, in absence thereof, a well-organised, well-managed foster home which receives the necessary funds and support will go a long way,” SJIS said in a press release.
SJIS Board member Ajamu Baly referred to the traumatic experience that children go through when being removed from their parental home and the importance, while in the care of SJIS, that they are placed in a safe environment – “that the children are given the ability to have a voice and be empowered to succeed,” Baly said.
The SJIS representative pointed out the need for children to be given the space to heal and most important of all, change the course of a generation and make a difference.
Dr. J. Foundation under the supervision of Dr. Judith Arndell is responsible for the management of the home. Acknowledging contributions made, such as those through Foresee Foundation, Arndell made a passionate plea to the audience to support the home with much-needed furnishings and appliances.
Anyone interested in contributing to the home or in supporting the foster children, is encouraged to contact Concincion at