PHILIPSBURG – Recently, the Minister of Public Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI), Egbert J. Doran along with members of the Ebenezer Community Council Foundation, visited the Ebenezer Community Space – one of six community spaces being established across Sint Maarten. Led by the Managing Director of the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) Makhicia Brooks and Kevin Davies of the Netherlands Red Cross, the visit presented the Minister with the opportunity to learn more about this collaborative post-Irma initiative between SMDF and the Netherlands Red Cross Society and view how his continued assistance in the provision of land and issuance of permits has and will continue to contribute towards stronger community life for the people of St. Maarten.
The Community Spaces collaborative initiative was launched in early 2020 by SMDF and the Red Cross with the goal of creating and enhancing seven (7) outdoor social spaces for free use by the public. With the help of community-minded individuals, councils, and businesses, these spaces, which are located in Belvedere, Cay Hill at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, Cul-de-Sac, Ebenezer, Simpson Bay, Middle Region, and Sucker Garden, will allow persons of all ages to gather and connect with neighbors, friends, and families in a safe manner. From playground and exercise equipment to chess tables and revamped basketball courts, the community spaces have something for everyone. The first Community Space was successfully launched in Middle Region in February 2021 and works continue to complete the remaining spaces by the end of the year.
As the Community Spaces Project continues, SMDF would like to recognize the efforts of and extend a heartfelt thank you to the Minister of VROMI who has generously provided the entity with the permits and land needed in order to execute this project. With this, the aim of this project can be seen through which will go beyond promoting public health but will also allow for healthier and stronger social ties amongst our people.
Photo caption: (From L-R) Kevin Davies of Netherlands Red Cross; Michanou Arrundell of Ebenezer Community Council; Alfonso Reiph, Technical Manager of the Community Spaces Project, Minister Egbert Doran of the Ministry of VROMI; Chris Henriette of the Ebenezer Community Council, Makhicia Brooks, Managing Director of SMDF; Carmen Lake of the Ebenezer Community Council, and Mariela Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to the Minister of VROMI in front of the Ebenezer Community Space.