Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — The Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR) program hosted a delegation of the World Bank last week. The delegation which was led by Alex Kamurase was on the island to conduct a mid-term review of the R4CR program and consisted of a series of technical meetings, site visits and discussions with various stakeholders to determine the status of the program now that it has reached its halfway point after 2 years of implementation. “We want to see what was achieved, here from the stakeholders and beneficiaries what their experiences are, what challenges they face and what adjustments have to be made to serve the community of Sint Maarten even better.
I can say that the program is on target and doing great things for the island” stated the World Bank executive.
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 CSOs in reconstruction and resilience activities post hurricane Irma. Project activities by locally registered CSOs that are eligible for funding can cover subject areas such as neighborhood initiatives, sports, nature/environment, culture, poverty relief, day care centers/after school programs, youth employment, skills development, psycho-social support and gender-based violence.
Meetings were held with the local R4CR team, stakeholders such as the NRPB, the Project Technical Committee and a cross section of beneficiaries who have received grants during the two years of implementation. The delegation conducted site visits to Freegan Food Foundation, Reading Rainbow Day Care, the Philipsburg murals of Be The Change Foundation, Carib Swim Team and Our Creations Arts and Crafts Home in Colebay. These site visits gave the delegation a first-hand look at what impact these R4CR sub-projects are having locally.
Additionally, R4CR and the World Bank delegation organized a workshop with a cross section of foundations who received a grant from R4CR. The goal of the workshop was to share experiences, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations for better implementation. Among those present at the workshop were Hearts United Foundation, AIDS Foundation, SECDA, Be The Change, EPIC, 721 Kids, Kidz at Sea, St Maarten Yacht Club and Funtopia Youth Initiative. All foundations present expressed their gratitude for the assistance received from R4CR, both financial and technical, which enabled them to execute their projects and be more resilient in the future.
Some foundations such as the AIDS Foundation raised concerns about the long-term sustainability of their programs and the need for the Government of St. Maarten to assume its responsibility in areas currently not covered.