~Contributions accepted to complete~
PHILIPSBURG:--- SJIS opened its Foster Home for children ages 13 through 18 last Friday, June 13, 2022. Minister of Justice the honorable Anna Richardson together with St. Maarten Development Foundation (SMDF) director Makhicia Brooks, SJIS Board Member Ajamu Baly, Pastor Cuvalay, and Foster Care Coordinator Meredith Concincion cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the home.
Currently, 5 children have been placed at the new home which will be able to house 20 children when it is operating at capacity.
SMDF has been instrumental in making it possible for SJIS to make this significant step towards establishing a home for minors placed under supervision. While there is no dispute that a loving and nurturing family home is the ideal place to raise a child, in the absence thereof a well-organized, well-managed foster home that receives the necessary funds and support will go a long way. SJIS Board member Ajamu Baly, referred to the traumatic experience that children go through when being removed from their parental home and the importance, while in the care of the SJIS, they are placed in a safe environment. That the children are given the ability to have a voice and be empowered to succeed. The SJIS representative pointed out the need for children to be given the space to heal and perhaps most important of all, change the course of a generation and make a difference.
DR. J. Foundation under the supervision of Dr. Judith Arndell is responsible for the management of the home. Acknowledging contributions made, such as that through Foursee Foundation, Dr. Arndell made a passionate plea to the audience to support the home with much-needed furnishings and appliances.