SXM DOET celebrates 10 years of enriching communities

SXM DOET celebrates 10 years of enriching communities

By Foresee Foundation

SXM DOET, a volunteering initiative, celebrates 10 years of commitment to community enrichment under the resonating theme, “Big Up Yuhself! Enriching Communities for 10 Years.” This milestone invites reflection on the journey from inception to the present, with profound impacts on participating organizations, volunteers, recipients, and the entire St. Maarten community.

Looking ahead to the 10th edition this year, SXM DOET aims to ensure project quality and sustainability. With 69 projects planned, the focus is on meaningful, well-organized initiatives that promise a positive experience for volunteers. Innovative additions, including workshops on capacity building and agriculture sustainability, showcase the initiative’s commitment to fostering long-term impact beyond the DOET weekend.

In a bid to encourage early registration, SXM DOET introduced the “Early DOETi” incentive, rewarding the first 10 volunteers from the initial 10 organizations with special SXM DOET goodies. The 10th anniversary celebration will culminate in a Family Fun Day event tomorrow, March 23, expressing gratitude to all contributors and featuring performances which will include King James, who created the new jingle, dance competitions, quizzes and more.

What are some of the projects done over the years?

Over the past decade, SXM DOET has orchestrated numerous projects that have left an indelible mark on the island. Notable examples include the Mangrove planting project at Little Key, an enduring collaboration between St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the Yacht Club, and EPIC. This initiative, a fixture since the inaugural 2015 edition, not only actively engages volunteers in mangrove planting, but also educates them about the crucial role mangroves play in the local ecosystem.

Other standout projects include the repainting of cemetery walls near the Cul de Sac roundabout by the Rotary Club, the Longwall Road beautification and John Larmonie Building murals facilitated by National Institute of the Arts (NIA) and Art Craft Cafe Foundation, and annual volunteer efforts to petition grocery shoppers, supporting the White and Yellow Cross Food Pantry. Care days for vulnerable populations, school beautifications, doghouse creations by Animal Defenders, and various outings and cultural tours further demonstrate the diverse and impactful initiatives undertaken.

Tell us about the volunteers, specifically those who have made an extraordinary impact on the success of SXM DOET over the years.

Volunteers form the backbone of SXM DOET’s success, with various individuals and groups consistently contributing their time and effort. The project’s coaches program, initiated within SXM DOET, has played a pivotal role in assisting organizations with project planning. The initiative has not only garnered local support, but has also attracted voluntourists, enriching the experience for tourists and organizations alike.

Can you share some accumulated data on your impact over the years?

The impact of SXM DOET over the years is quantifiable through its growing scale. From the inaugural edition in 2015 with 40 projects and 900-1000 estimated volunteers, to the upcoming 10th edition in 2024 with 69 projects, the initiative has consistently grown in reach and engagement. Despite challenges, such as the impact of Hurricane Irma and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SXM DOET has maintained its commitment to community service.

How can individuals or groups sign up to participate?

To participate, individuals or groups can sign up on the SXM DOET website (, explore available projects, and register for one or both days. The anticipation is high for a festive celebration of a decade of community enrichment and volunteerism.

The Daily Herald

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