Get off the Block participants pledge to life of peace and dignityPOSTED: 04/26/11 11:52 AM
St. Maarten – “I pledge that I will not use violence to settle disputes; I will not carry nor use any weapons or drugs. I will respect others and live a life of peace, dignity and hope. I will do my best to change my life positively and be an asset to my family, my community and St. Maarten.”
That is the pledge participants in the Get off the Block, Get on the Bus, Get Busy or GB3 youth project recited before Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rhoda Arrindell last week at the end of an appreciation ceremony at Le Charolais restaurant in the Maho Village.
“We don’t want to lose any one of you; we don’t want to meet again at another funeral for a young St. Maartener; this thing has to stop now,” Minister Arrindell appealed to the participants passionately.
The gathering was organized to thank everyone who has made a significant contribution to the program so far, especially the participants, the mentors and sponsors in this public-private partnership program.
The mentors also made the following pledge: “I pledge to commit my time, energy and expertise to assist my mentee in achieving the goals set forth in the Get off the Block, Get on the Bus, Get Busy youth project. I will be a friend, a big brother/sister, a confidante and facilitator to my mentee at all times to enhance his or her self-esteem, pride and dignity and make him or her a productive, physically, mentally and spiritually balanced member of society.”
However, it was not all about pledges; there was also lots of food and fun to make the evening a relaxing and enjoyable get-together. Following the welcome by project manager Shermina Powell-Richardson, Minister Arrindell set the stage by outlining why it was important to come together again.
The Minister had earlier indicated the need to “finalize certain aspects of the registration, particularly with regards to vital information that we need to design a tailor-made care program for each participant.” She also added that it was important for the mentors and their respective mentees to bond together.
After the excellent buffet dinner, spiced up by three beautiful dancers, there was a karaoke competition for the participants with cash prizes for the winners, while major sponsors such as the St. Maarten Timeshare Association, Budget Marine, and Port de Plaisance, were recognized. Two of the mentors received prizes for their exceptional commitment to the program.
The evening was sponsored by Orco Bank, B & C Beverages, and Le Grand Marché.