White & Yellow Cross on track with clients’ home repair

The White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation, as incorporated in its name, has made caring for the most vulnerable people in our community its core aim for the last 50 years. Hurricanes Irma and Maria put a different perspective where immediate action was needed as core health care was even more challenged with the lack of basic needs such as water, food, clothing and a livable home.

During and after hurricane Irma, the district nursing team and other staff were at the homes of clients, giving help and assessing the most urgent needs.
While dealing with the most emergency assistance, White & Yellow Cross realized the urgent need to set up and apply for a middle term recovery project with the vision that basic care for the elderly and physically/mentally challenged living at home can only be achieved if there is a minimum of core living conditions; in other words a home that is safe and dry.

This made the WYCCF Board and management decide to write a project application to the Dutch government requesting early relief financial assistance.
Three projects were submitted, where the first project was targeted towards the reconstruction of 45 homes for the most vulnerable clients under the care of White & Yellow Cross.

Caption: Assessing damage at a senior’s homes by LICCOM

After the project approval at the end of 2017, Board, Management, staff and its partners are happy and proud to announce that its project is on the right track.
Having done a social assessment with all its 200 living home clients and a total of 80 follow up technical assessments, taking into account a number of specific criteria like income, pension, living circumstances, extent of damage, 30 client houses were identified as needing financial and physical assistance in house repair. The project proposal aimed at helping 45 and after careful consideration and evaluations, White & Yellow Cross is meeting this target by extending the 45 to 50 homes, adding extra house repairs to its core WYCCF clientele.

Currently a total of 40 houses are approved for reconstruction, whereby 4 houses are finished and another 12 are currently under construction. In the upcoming months before hurricane ‘high season’, this project will be finalized making the objective of 50 homes.
The execution of this house repair project is supported by the retraining in construction project for persons in the tourism/hospitality sector who got unemployed after Irma. With the funding by the Dutch early recovery Dutch Funds, WYCCF was also able to start this retraining project. With 23 excited construction trainees, their assistance is a welcome addition to the home recovery program, whereby trainees go a step further and also give a hand to other NGOs besides WYCCF, who lost their offices and facilities for kids, adults and senior programs.

The White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation expresses its sincere thanks to the Dutch Government, its staff, the contractors, its clients and all its partners related to the three projects in the construction and care areas for this great initiative and level of collaboration.

This is one of the early recovery projects financed from the Dutch Recovery Fund for St Maarten, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. €7 million has been made available during the early recovery phase for projects that will have a direct positive impact on the population of St Maarten.’

Bregje Boetekees, Operations Manager WYFCCF
Jose Sommers, Project leader Recovery Projects for WYCCF