R4CR Quick-Win Round 1 ends on high note

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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Resources For Community Resilience (R4CR) program officially closed off Quick-Win round 1 with a learning benchmark training on Saturday June 5. The R4CR program includes a grant scheme as funding mechanism for community and social rehabilitation initiatives on Sint Maarten and focuses on improving the capacity of local civil society organizations (CSO’s) in reconstruction and resilience activities post hurricane Irma.

In the first year of implementation two Quick-Win rounds are foreseen. The Quick-Win rounds have been designed for projects that can be completed within six months on a moderate budget. The preparations for Quick-Win round 1 started in September 2020 and the projects got going in earnest in December 2020. Twelve projects were selected with a total budget of $452,481: Animal Defenders received their first ever grant in their 30-year existence to neuter and spay stray animals, the Carib Swim Team received funding to change the pool pumps, pool filters and install solar lights, the Catholic School Board was awarded funds to set up the playground in Middle Region, Nanny Nurssy Foundation was able to repair their facilities to better assist the sick, needy and homeless. Helping Hands Foundation used their grant to purchase a wheel chair bus (this was a joint financing project between R4CR and Samenwerkende Fondsen).

K1 Britannia used their funds to train more local volunteers in disaster management and disaster preparedness while the Nature Foundation was able to conduct detailed research on the invasive Vervet monkey population wreaking havoc on the island with their grant. The Philipsburg Jubilee Library was able to set up satellite locations in Cay Hill and Belvedere. The latter project suffered some minor delays and will be completed by the end of June. The afterschool foundation SECDA received funding to purchase healthy and nutritious food for all children in the daycare/afterschool programs, ensure that the daycares received the food handler’s certification and organized a create movement workshops for the teachers of all daycares.

The AIDS Foundation received a grant to purchase medicines and tests for uninsured persons living with the disease. Reading Rainbow used their grant to rebuild a classroom that was destroyed by hurricane Irma, upgrade the digital learning lab and refurbish the playground. The Senior Citizen Recreational Foundation used their grant to make much necessary (security) improvements to their building in Hope Estate that has been burglarized nineteen times in the last few years.

The grant recipients in Quick-Win round 1 were guided and coached intensively by the local R4CR team. There were several training and capacity strengthening opportunities provided during the six months program such as the pre-disbursement training, which was geared towards teaching the grant recipients about the R4CR program’s processes, procedures, requirements and reporting. In addition, R4CR collaborated with the local NGO platform Foresee Foundation to offer additional training opportunities such as courses in grant writing, accounting and project management.

During the learning benchmark training each CSO got a chance to tell their story, showcase their project, share experiences and learn about the crucial elements that need to be included in the final project report. “It was a fun interactive session designed to foster collaboration between the CSO’s and encourage them to network and learn from each other” said Jose Sommers, Capacity Strengthening Manager of R4CR. “Using a series of creative exercises and presentations we were able to have the CSO’s tell each other stories and create appreciation for the unique challenges each project faced” Sommers concluded.
The learning benchmark training ended with the CSO’s completing the program evaluation form, toasting to the successful completion of the project and dancing to the CSO song “We are One” which was written by local Soca artist King Vers.

With Quick-Win round 1 successfully completed, the R4CR team will now focus on the launch of the projects selected in Quick-Win round 2 which is scheduled to take place online on June 16.

The R4CR program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the Sint Maarten Trust Fund which is administered by the World Bank, implemented by VNG International and monitored by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB). Project activities by registered CSO’s can cover subject categories such as neighborhood initiatives, sports/recreation, nature/environment, culture/arts/heritage, poverty relief, day care centers/after school programs, youth employment, skills development, psycho-social support and gender based violence.

For more information about the R4CR program or an overview of all current projects please visit www.r4cr.org or the Facebook page (R4CRSXM).