St. Maarten Aids Foundation launches youth wing

POSTED: 10/8/13 11:12 AM

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Aids Foundation officially launched its Youth Wing at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Friday evening. Community Projects Coordinator Kimberley Meijers oversaw the event and led an information session with the new members who will play key roles in engaging the island youth in HIV/Aids and STI (sexually transmitted infections) awareness programs.

Students of Academy, St. Dominic High School, Milton Peters College, CIA, LU and even from Soualiga College on the French side were involved in the launch, and committed to volunteer as part of the Aids Foundation’s Youth Wing. Of the 25 young volunteers in attendance, 4 were Board members of the Youth Wing which will plan, organize and lead youth activities on behalf of the foundation. President Nympha Richardson was very excited for the official launch and stressed the importance of having a diverse group of young people coming together to achieve one positive goal: getting the island’s new HIV infection rate down to 0%. “Every single one of us here has a different talent, a different perspective; a different way of thinking that can strengthen the group and make us more capable of carrying out our mission.”

The Youth Wing is already at work to create a weekend of events leading up to World Aids Day on December 1, spreading awareness in a way that not only attracts the general community, but piques the interest of young people as well. “I am very proud to be part of this worthwhile program. The youth of St. Maarten should be more involved in what’s going on in our community and this Youth Wing initiative is a great way to do so. We have a strong Board and very enthusiastic members, so I am excited for future projects and believe that we will be very successful,” Communications Officer Jasmine Grannum says.

“The youth is an important target group for our prevention efforts. The Youth Wing will complement our Girl Power and Real Talk programs to expand awareness, and focus on positive and fun ways to get the message out to their peers,” Meijers said. Those wishing to join the Youth Wing are encouraged to contact the foundation on 588-4636 and to like its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sxmaidsfoundation.

 

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