Island Gems supports NPOs strengthening

Island Gems support NPOwer’s Connect and Inspire Conference. From left: NPOwer team member Milou Scheeren, Island Gems members Ludmilla de Weever, Hanisha Alwani, Asha Stevens and Cherise Rambhadjan, NPOwer’s Jose Sommers and Resources for Community Resilience R4CR’s Steve Duzanson.


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) are the vehicle via which much support and improvement within the community evolve and develop. It is for this reason that Island Gems Charity Foundation saw it fit to be a partner of NPOwer’s Connect and Inspire Conference set for February 23 to 25.

Learning about the conference and already being aware of the NPO capacity building work of NPOwer, a programme of Foresee Foundation, Island Gems opted to support this furthering of knowledge for this important pillar of society. This support has allowed conference organisers to secure as keynote speaker of Chief Executive Officer at Think To Do Institute Bonnie Benesh. This means non-profits will benefit immensely from her knowledge and insights.

Benesh’s specialty covers areas such as Tripartite Social Dialogue, Thought-leadership, International economic and workforce development, master planning and strategic planning, CoPs (communities of practice), ILO processes, PPPs (public private partnerships), executive coaching. Covering the cost associated with this segment of the conference will ensure that all NPOs participating are given tools to make their work more effective. Benesh is based in Curacao.

Island Gems’ support for the conference stems from the facts that it is another step and avenue for sustainable learning and support for NPOs. The conference is viewed by Island Gems as an extension to the myriad of regular capacity strengthening workshops offered free to NPOs.

For Island Gems, as a bridging organization that often fills difficult gaps for NPOs working on both sides of St. Maarten, seeing those groups succeed and having access to assistance to empower them to continue serving the community is very important, said Island Gems Asha Stevens.

Stevens along with fellow Gems Cherise Rambhadjan, Hanisha Alwani, and Ludmilla de Weever recently visited the Office of NPOwer to hear more about the conference planning. They and the rest of the members of the island’s oldest charity encourage all NPOs to take the opportunity to add to their knowledge and capacity by attending the “Connect and Inspire” Conference.

NPOwer’s Jose Sommers thanked the Gems for recognising the value of strengthening the capacity of NPOs. “We are grateful for the Gems’ recognition of the vital importance of building the capacity of non-profit organizations, and we extend our sincere thanks for their unwavering support of the non-profit sector,” she said.

Sommers added that this support of the conference gives NPOs locally and from the surrounding islands long-term knowledge and skillsets to help with their continued service to their communities.

The conference will be held at Belair Community Center (Friday, February 24) and St. Dominic High School (Saturday, February 25). A host of local and regional representatives of NPOs and various stakeholders to share their knowledge and experiences to strengthen the capacity of the non-profit sector.

The conference is free for two representatives from St. Maarten-based organisations registered on Persons or organisations not directly affiliated with NPOwer are asked to contribute US $50 per person, per day. To register, visit click on the blue tab “Conference 2023”.

NPOwer, noted for the slogan “where NPOs connect”, is located on A. Th. Illidge Road 60, Unit 1.1. For more information, email or  call +1 721 581 5050.