Ms. Riddhi Samtani a Youth Advocate and MP Angelique Romou collaborate on the commemoration of Rights of the Child 2020.

(L-R) MP Angelique Romou and Ms. Riddhi Samtani


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The St. Maarten Promoting Young Ambassadors Foundation (SMPYA) and the Ministry Of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport’s, Department of Youth Affairs will be hosting its annual “Rights of the Child” movie night entitled “I AM GRETA”.

Member of Parliament, Angelique Romou, founder of the SMPYA foundation was approached By Ms. Riddhi Samtani, one of St. Maarten’s Youth Advocates and newly inducted SXM Young Ambassador to assist her with her project on the effects of Climate Change in Small Island states. The SMPYA foundation jumped at the opportunity to help to bring about awareness to such a worthy cause which gravely affects St. Maarten and decided to collaborate with, Ms. Riddhi Samtani and together decided to utilize the SMPYA’s Rights of the child Movie night to bring about this much needed awareness.

Ms. Riddhi Samtani has embodied steadfast dedication to the issues of climate change in small islands professionally and academically. Most recently she represented St. Maarten as a TEDx speaker on this very topic. In every crisis, children are the most vulnerable. Climate change is no exception. For this reason, the movie selected to air this year is titled,I AM GRETA”

This year the foundation is dedicating the “Ready, Set, Protect” theme of the Department of Youth Affaires to protecting the rights of children in the face of the climate crisis. This theme goes hand in hand with the Human Rights Council’s 44th session, 2020 annual day on the rights of the child which was held in July of this year under the theme “Realizing the rights of the child through a healthy environment”.  

The Rights of the child Movie event will be held on Friday the 4th of December 2020 at the Philipsburg Cultural Center, located on the Backstreet and it starts at 4:30 pm to 7 pm.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the invitation is only extended to a limited amount of secondary school students who will have to sign up at their respective schools and will be accepted on a first-come first serve basis once they register via the sign-up sheet. All participants must register by Friday the 27th of November 2020. All attendees are informed of the Covid-19 protocols which will be strictly enforced, everyone must wear a mask and social distancing will  be implemented.

Those who participate in this event will be extended the invitation to become a SXM Young Ambassador with the SMPYA foundation and will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the presentation.

In an invited comment Member of parliament Angelique Romou wished every child on this the 20th of November 2020 a Happy Rights of the Child Day and encourages all children to seek    knowledge about their rights to be protected and to have a safe environment. She also reminded everyone how The Rights of The Child Convention came about and quoted UNICEF;

“In 1989 something incredible happened. Against the backdrop of a changing world order world leaders came together and made a historic commitment to the world’s children. They made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting an international legal framework – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Contained in this treaty is a profound idea: that children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decisions are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are human beings and individuals with their own rights. The Convention says childhood is separate from adulthood, and lasts until 18; it is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity”

The Convention has since went on to become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and has helped transform children’s lives.

The SMPYA Foundation hopes that this collaborative effort will be the continuation of bringing awareness to environmental safety and that by the airing of this movie “I AM GRETA” , more young people will be inspired to join the fight to protect themselves and the lives of others through a safer environment.