Sister Basilia Day Care Center officially opensPOSTED: 06/29/12 1:05 PM
St. Maarten – The new Sister Basilia Center Day Care section was officially opened with the ribbon being cut by the Minister of Health Cornelius De Weever and one of the clients of the center on Thursday evening. The opening of the center was hailed as a “milestone” by the Department Manager of the Sister Basilica Center Carlson Richardson who said in his remarks that the centre started out as a kind gesture by Ms. Richardson used to gather some of the disabled persons in the community and take them on outings. This kindness extended to the White and Yellow Cross foundation which was situated on Back Street. In 1984 funding for a new building was erected in the South Reward District. Over the years the group grew and they were trained in various skills like reading, writing, how to conduct themselves in society and self help skills.
The goal of the center was to improve the skills and social development of persons with disability. Their main objective was to have equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in all areas of life and as a result has seen much progress over the years.
“The clientele grew from just a handful to 45 persons that are now spread over three locations,” Richardson said.
The new day care center was built to satisfy the specific needs of the clients. They’ve already planned to open a catering group where clients who are capable of working or unemployed are afforded the opportunity to manage their own catering business. Presently there are three clients who are being trained in the catering business. Some of the clients are champions in track and field and participated in Special Olympics.
“The White and Yellow Cross has grown over the forty years as an able health care provider providing care for the elderly, the disabled, sick and the very young,” Governor Eugene Holiday said in his opening remarks.
“We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have well equipped facilities for the development and functioning of the health care delivery system.”
The governor mentioned that investment to enhance the physical and human capacity in the interdependent health sector by health care providers such as the White and Yellow Cross the St. Maarten Medical Center and the Mental Health Foundation to further improve the quality care of vital to the quality of life is essential.
The governor believes the initiative of the management and board of the White and Yellow Cross to expand it facilities with the new day care building to accommodate the amount of clients coming to the Sister Basilica Center is an important step forward in the development of the health care delivery system for two reasons. It allows the Sister Basilia Center to expand and professional its services even more and it “increases the level of exposure to our disabled brothers and sisters and as such improve their quality of life.” The new facility also draws attention to the potential of the society since the facility “raises the bar again.”
Minister of Public Health Cornelius de Weever recounted the fact that at the rafter wetting ceremonies of the facility he had made the shortest speech ever since he wanted to see that work completed. He said that with the completion of the center it will provide more and will not stop there. He recognized that the care is done in “a home setting.” From what he has seen at the center is a clear indication that the clients are happy and live like a family. He asked that the staff to continue with the work that they are doing so that the clients will continue with the progress that they are making.