The Volunteer.sx team with partners, Members of Parliament and Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs shortly after the website went live on Monday.
~ Everyone urged to sign up ~
PHILIPSBURG--St. Maarten’s national volunteer platform/website “Volunteer.sx” went live on Monday night with an official launch at Port St Maarten in the presence of government officials, non-profit organisations’ representatives, and corporate benefactors.
The well-attended event marked the launch of the platform, an initiative of St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) and NPOwer, an arm of Foresee Foundation that allows for the smooth connectivity of people to purpose, business to worthwhile initiates and enhances volunteer opportunities across the island.
Volunteer.sx will also help this island’s already strong sense of community service by making it easy to manage, facilitate and participate in a wide range of personalised volunteer opportunities.
Attendees were greeted by Dow’s Musical Foundation which entertained guests with a steelpan solo. Jaydon Samuel of Charlotte Brookson Academy opened the event with a rendition of the St. Martin Song.
Kevin Petrona served as host for the evening, giving the official welcome and introducing the Volunteer.sx team. Members include Jose Sommers, Petrona, Alston Lourens, Makhicia Brooks and Rajesh Chintaman and the Deedmob team led by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Boudewijn Wijnands.
At the beginning of the ceremony Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs spoke on the importance of volunteering and congratulated all stakeholders, partners and the team for coming together for this initiative.
Brooks and Sommers presented an in-depth explanation of Volunteer.sx. They said the main goal in launching the new website was to provide non-profit organisations (NPOs) in St. Maarten a platform where they can easily recruit volunteers for community-based initiatives. In Sommers remarks she recognised the important role Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben in facilitating the work of Foresee Foundation, while SMDF was praised for partnering with NPOwer.
The website also gives persons a one-stop location to view the various opportunities available to them. In turn it makes it easier for companies to manage volunteer activities, find suitable causes and contribute to the growth of the island in a meaningful way.
Following the presentation, Shiloh Bedminister of Charlotte Brookson Academy treated attendees to a moving dance performance.
Volunteer.sx partners representing TelEm Group, Port St. Maarten and Deedmob each gave remarks. Port St. Maarten and TelEm were the first to sign on to fund the platform.
TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kendall Dupersoy in his remarks touched on the community and the importance of coming together to help one another. He referenced his younger days of growing up when more of this was seen and experienced throughout the community.
Port St. Maarten CEO Alexander Gumbs also congratulated the team. He noted the importance and his personal drive in ensuring that the port continues to support such initiatives.
The Volunteer.sx team introduced one of the creators of the platform for the website, Deedmob CEO Wijnands. In introducing him, the Volunteer.sx team honoured his professionalism and novelty in bringing the team’s ideas to life with Volunteer.sx.
Wijnands expressed his confidence in the success of Volunteer.sx and the team behind the initiative. Deedmob is a social-tech enterprise founded at University of Oxford in 2017 and based in Amsterdam. Since launching Deedmob, more than10,500 charities, cities, and companies (corporate volunteering) use its impact-technology representing more than 2.6 million volunteers in the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore, Unite Arab Emirates and India, among others.
After the official launch of Volunteer.sx the team demonstrated the navigation of the website. A total of 31 foundations and organisations are registered on Volunteer.sx. More organisations will be added to the platform based on NPOwer’s extensive local database.
The audience then were challenged to sign up to the website on the spot and become volunteers.