Minister Jacobs calls on parents to attend friendly games on Saturday

As part of celebrating the United Nation’s (UN) Universal Children’s Day, and in connection with the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, is calling on parents to make time on Saturday to support their kids in a Sports Day of friendly games with children from St. Martin and Sint Maarten participating in various sporting disciplines, that kicks off at 9.00am until 5.00pm at the Alberic Richards Stadium in Sandy Ground and Sal Omnisport.


Minister Jacobs delivered the following address at the Commemoration of International Day Rights of the Child at the Collectivite building in Marigot earlier this week:

Today is day of celebration… International Day of the child- A day of Awareness among children and among all adults of the rights of each and every child.

I commend the governments on both sides of the island and private organizations who year round, protect and promote the rights of our children right here on St. Maarten.

In our culture traditionally, we all grew up hearing from our parents and others "Children should be seen and not heard!"and that children should respect their elders.

In 2012 it behooves us all to embrace the fact that children also have rights, and therefore also deserve respect.

We can and should expect our children to show respect. However, it will not be a one way street.

RESPECT is an obligation for us all, to give as well as receive.

Today, as a society, we recognize that how we treat our children today will determine their success in the future; what we provide them with today is what will help them to survive and thrive in these times.

Respecting the Rights of our children, their thoughts, ideas and dreams will have very positive effects for our collective future here on St. Maarten/St. Martin.

Children should be taught respect, but also to express their opinions and to voice their concerns.

Our education system already reflects those rights, as it is a child centered one, based on the needs of the child.

In order to respect The Rights of the Child, which is an obligation, I appeal to all parents, teachers, care givers, after school activities leaders, counselors, and all those who meet our children on the streets to respect oneself, then each other and of course respect especially our children.

In this way, our children will feel valued; validated; grow in confidence and self-esteem; be ready to grow into adults of strong character and a strong sense of self.

Is that not the type of citizen we want for St. Maarten/St. Martin?

Let us together promote the Rights of our Children to make sure that our children:

– Learn and live well

– play

– are healthy

– have a name, nationality and an identity

– have family love and care

– has and shares their own opinion

– religion

– information

– protection from abuse

– having their special needs met

– get financial assistance to survive if neede

– develop as individuals

– develop their own talents

Let us all do what we can to build a strong nation of strong children, who are secure in their value to their families, their communities and our country St. Maarten.

Let us all teach respect by modeling respect to the children of St. Maarten and the world.