NPOwer signing up leaders for capacity building overnight camp

Members of the Camp Coordination team from left Jean Oneli (Nelly) Blaise, Rajesh Chintaman, Jose Sommers, Jasmine Essed and Michel Peterson during one of their planning sessions.


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Leaders, staff members and active persons within the non-profit organisation (NPO) sector are signing up for what NPOwer, a program of Forsee Foundation, calls an innovative approach to capacity strengthening. Part of NPOwer 2022 series of workshops, “Camping Connections” will be held on Friday, March 25 and 26 on Ile de Tintamarre.

According to NPOwer, this event will be, “Networking and capacity strengthening made fun! Sign up for our off island “Camping Connections”. This overnight camping experience on Ile de Tintamarre is designed as a capacity strengthening activity focused on team building and the organization of nature-related activities.”

With a capacity for about 30 participants, who will come from active non-profit organisations (NPOs), this experience is sure to cement bonds within the NPO sector. This overnight experience will facilitate stronger interpersonal connections within the NPO sector, allow for greater connectivity in project execution, facilitate a better understanding of your fellow civil sector organisations and help reduce the overlapping of project objectives. All this will be accomplished in a setting (Ile de Tintamarre) that allows for a wonderful life experience.

Coordinating team leader, Jose Sommers said, “Our quote in our logo refers to ‘where St. Maarten NPOs connect’ During the regular workshops and conferences, often time is lacking for NPOs to connect and learn more about each other, on what they do and who they serve. With this camp we create opportunities for NPOs to meet each other in a unique setting and connect.” She added that this camp will offer ample networking opportunities, it will strengthen teambuilding and leadership skills, allow participants to connect with nature and build a stronger sense of belonging, which can also have a transfer value to their NPO. Rethinking the sustainability in the NPO sector on St. Maarten will be one of the many discussion points.

Sommers, an avid camper, will lead some of the discussions on the future of the NPO sector and what we can do to make greater impacts within our target groups and with our projects. Because many of the persons attending this workshop will be leaders in their respective organisations, we can expect several breakaway discussions and connection making moments.

NPOwer team coordinator Rajesh Chintaman said a dynamic team of individuals were brought together to plan this camp and he expects that participants will leave Ile de Tintamarre on the second day invigorated and enthusiastic about their specific cause or awareness drive.

St. Maarten Youth Brigade Assistant Project Leader Michel Peterson, a leader in the coordinating team, said he grew up camping in different regions locally and abroad from a young age while learning a lot about sustainable living practices. In his capacity as the assistant project leader of the St. Maarten Youth Brigade, they have planned and executed various types of camps, including basic and survival camps for members. His experience will serve to make the camp a success.

Jean Oneli (Nelly) Blaise, also of St. Maarten Youth Brigade and a coordinating team leader said, “I intend to bring new insights on how we can co-create a sustainable environment for NPOs to flourish and forge an alliance to solve pending community concerns. Participants will walk away with enhanced consciousness, active learning, and practical tools to uplift their communities.”

Camp coordinator team member Jasmine Essed said, “In keeping with my aspiration to start a NPO in the future, I know this experience will bring with it a wealth of experience, fruitful connections and lots of fun. As young people we need to embrace learning experiences and this camp will be exactly that, a great learning experience. I look forwards seeing a wide cross sections of NPO representatives at the camp.” Frederika Bakker, an intern attached to St. Maarten Youth Brigade is also a member of the coordination team.

The first boat leaves early in the morning and participants will be given a schedule of activities to keep them positively engaged. For more information about the camp contact NPOwer via email or call +17215815050.