Red Cross Sint Maarten

Red Cross signs agreement with NIPA for vocational training

CAY HILL—Red Cross St. Maarten signed an agreement with NIPA to facilitate the first course in Red Cross’ Livelihoods project, a jobs program aimed at giving people on the island with few or no job prospects more opportunities for work.

Livelihoods Project Manager Fernando Suarez-Jimenez shakes hands with NIPA chairlady Peggy-Ann Dros-Richardson as Red Cross Head of Mission Fanny de Swarte looks on.

St. Maarten’s National Institute of Professional Advancement (NIPA) will be providing four months of training in Air conditioning & Refrigeration maintenance to 20 people who have already registered and qualified for the Livelihoods project. The course is being executed by the NIPA , in close collaboration with their regional partner – MIC- Institute of Technology, and offers participants an accredited  certificate upon successful completion . This course is the first in a series of training programs that Red Cross will be offering to help people here make their income sources more resilient to disasters.

“This first training launches the activities of the Livelihoods project,” Livelihoods Project Manager Fernando Suarez Jimenez said. “We plan to continue supporting vulnerable people in Sint Maarten during the next months in order to strengthen and diversify their sources of incomes.”

Red Cross began an open call recently for people who are unemployed or only work part-time to register for Livelihoods. Already more than 100 people have registered, and the Livelihoods team is evaluating all registrants to determine whether they qualify for the project. Red Cross hopes to help the people on the island who most struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Together with the NESC ( National Employment Service Center ) , a unit in the Division of Labor Affairs & Social Services, the Red Cross intends to continue the push to source the most vulnerable persons to benefit from these programs.

NIPA, and by extension MIC – Institute of Technology , is proud to partner with the Red Cross, and thereby adding consistent value to the labor market, by graduating qualified tradesman in all technical vocational areas.

Livelihoods is the latest offering from Red Cross, which has been providing aid through food and home repair projects since Hurricane Irma devastated the island in 2017. Red Cross will soon also be launching a project aimed at making residents more aware of how to reduce the effects of storms and other hazards on them and their communities.

Red Cross hopes to begin training courses in air conditioning, maritime, sewing and other areas within a few weeks. People on the island who want to boost their opportunities can still register in person at Red Cross headquarters in Simpson Bay or the Service Point at the WIFOL Building in Philipsburg or by calling 545-2333 / 545-2304.