Coaching Healing Programs by yoga for youth on Sint Maarten

We’ll overcome Irma’s loss and fear, an initiative by Maartje Bakker, Schoolpsychologist, working and living in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Back in the days
“For 4 years of my life (2006-2011) Sint Maarten was my home. In 2006 I started on the island as an intern for my study to become an educational psychologist at the Sister Basilia Center, a department of the White Yellow Cross Care Foundation. I was mostly at the daycare of that department, where I worked with clients with an intellectual disability.

Furthermore I worked together with Alexandra Halley- van Luijken and Carmenita Chemont, both working as psychologists on the Island with their own private practice, Intervision.
After my graduation in 2007 in the Netherlands, I went on the first plane back to the Island. I started to work again at Intervision and at Seaside Nature Park (Caybay). All these activities were with the same mission for me to be able to help out the (disadvantaged) youth in several ways.

Back in the Netherlands, in 2012, I first worked for 5 years at a special Primary school in Utrecht, for children coming from abroad. Since last year I work as Schoolpsychologist and offer several yoga programs for children and teenagers by my own company “Pearlwave”.
My interest and expertise did grow the last years in trauma (recovery), multicultural development and resilience in combination with coaching teachers and parents, with a body- oriented way.

After the horrible destruction of hurricane Irma on September 6th, my heart is broken. The first days there was no contact possible with my friends and other locals I know on the Island. It was horrible to not know what had happened. As soon as I got the information that all my friends were safe, I was able to breathe a bit again. However I immediately knew, I had to organize something for the youth on the Island. So I started my crowdfunding “We’ll overcome Irma’s loss and fear’, without even having contact with the local community yet. At that moment I had contact with my friends and other locals on the Island, and it became apparent that at that time it was impossible for children to go school The media showed that the houses where to damaged and it looked like a warzone.

On October 2nd most of the Primary schools did open again on the Island, and in advance I got several phone calls from teachers with a request of help. They asked me for some worksheets to help the children to overcome Irma’s loss and fear. I did manage to make a start package for Primary schools on the Dutch side. Some psycho- education about trauma (recovery), worksheets and some activities to organize in class. Even parents from children evacuated to Curacao asked for this start package to use at home.
It’s a wonderful feeling to help the youth on the Island, but it is very important to also work together with the local professionals on the Island so that positive long term effects can be ensured. also for positive long term effects. Empowering and connecting with local forces is key to create effective interventions. I was therefore very happy to be able to connect with APAP: Association of Psychologists and Allied Professionals on St. Maarten and collaborate with them.

APAP was established in June 2016, and strives to promote the practice and professional development of psychology and related fields on Sint Maarten. In the last weeks the association has been working specifically on creating awareness and informing the communities of psychological recovery of the hurricane. Also their focus has been on connecting organisations, professionals and stakeholders where possible to make sure people get the help and support they need. In cooperation with them I hope to be able to support the needs of the youth on St. Maarten where needed. I’m willing to organize more activities, and hope to be able to come to the Island again to also help out directly when the time is right. On the long term , I would love to offer programs for the youth in yoga and coaching, all in a body- oriented way.

APAP (Association of Psychologists and Allied Professionals St. Maarten) is there to support the community of St. Maarten concerning the psychological well-being and stimulate the quality of psychology and related fields on the island. They are open to connect and stimulate initiatives where needed, and strive for people to get the support they need. Do you want to connect to them or have any questions? They can be found on Facebook (APAP SXM) and/or you can email them at sxmapap@gmail.com. Feel free to do so!

At the end of September, minister Plasterk from the Netherlands visited the Island. “When I talked with the children in class, I heard some children did experience lots of scary situations. The teachers will need support to guide their children in class”.

It’s important that it becomes clearer what kind of help is exactly needed, so that initiatives can be set up. I am also very open in supporting others with setting up those programs for the youth on Sint Maarten.

Also with my initiative “We’ll overcome Irma’s loss and fear”, I would love to offer various programs for the youth on Sint Maarten, such as yoga and coaching in the coming years. I have several people in the Netherlands willing to support me with this initiative. The first financial donations have already been given. To get all the help to the right places and to be effective it's important that the people on the Island, both non- professional as professional, inform support organisations (like the student support services for example), but especially also the professionals of APAP considering the psychological well- being, what is needed. What will be necessary on the short and long term period?

In order to have effective help , we have to empower each other and therefore I would like to help out where I can. So please collaborate and be strong together to make all the help effective for an even better Sint Maarten. The youth is the future.

Why crowdfunding?

This crowdfunding is to set up programs by yoga and coaching for youth on Sint Maarten

I would love to come back coming years to offer several programs to overcome Irma's loss and fear. Besides I am looking for persons to help me with this. I would love to share this mission and work together for the youth on Sint Maarten. 

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25 donaties
€ 770,00

Deze actie is gesloten.