Maria presented with project targeting at risk youth

Commissioner Maria Buncamper-Molanus, with her new responsibility for Youth Affairs, met with a group of experts from the Netherlands on Monday to discuss a project that targets at risk young adults between the ages of 18-28. The project, "St. Maarten Maximaal", aims to support young adults with deficiencies in education, work experience, socialization and other structural problems that young people of that age group faces. In particular before they travel to Holland or before Antillean youngsters in Holland return home.

The four experts with years of experience and executed projects in this field were Mr. Emile Priest, Mr. Marton Postma, Mr. Jan van Berg and Mr. Jan Stuwe. The project presentation was only one of many to take place with stakeholders this week and, in keeping with the Integrated Youth policy, continues the process of seeking collaborating efforts to develop projects and programs which will beneficial to the young people of St. Maarten. 

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St. Maarten already has similar programs wither running or about to start. So the intention of the presentation of "St. Maarten Maximaal" was to avoid any duplication of efforts and to determine whether the program could compliment existing programs. In fact, Commissioner Buncamper specifically mentioned evaluating what St. Maarten already has in place to avoid saturating supporting entities like the business community with the same or similar projects.

The Commissioner was impressed with the project and the results it has had in Holland with at risk youth. The emphasis of the project is on self-reliance after proper guidance and contributing positively to their community, it creates perspectives and chances for youngsters to be positive role models for their peers, it brings the business community into the process of not only employing these youngsters but also assisting them in constructing a life that will also benefit St. Maarten in general.

At the end of the scheduled stakeholder meetings a report will be compiled and further discussion will take place to determine if and how the project can be implemented on St. Maarten.