PM to students in Holland: “We need people in many areas”POSTED: 04/25/12 3:34 PM
St. Maarten – Last Friday Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams gave the opening address at the first Soualiga Foundation Student Forum which at the Evertshuis in Bodegraven. The PM delivered her speech via a video-link.
The forum’s main goal was to get students, recent graduates and young professionals involved in discussions around the theme To Study Successfully and to Return Successfully. During the event attendees had the opportunity to give recommendations on improving options, initiatives and possibilities for students, recent graduates and young professionals who are still studying in the Netherlands or who are recently graduated and who would like to return to St. Maarten.
The Prime Minister ensured her audience that the government “attaches much importance to events such as these; bringing students and government together.”
She commended the Soualiga Foundation and all who assisted in getting the event off the ground in such a short time. “It is heartening to note that several companies on St. Maarten have contributed to this forum, including GEBE, TelEm, cadastre, Windward Islands Bank, UTS, and the tourist office.”
Leading up to 10-10-10, every ounce of energy was put into making sure that the bedrock of St. Maarten’s young democracy was a solid government organization with all the checks and balances this requires, the PM said. In doing so, it became apparent how critical the need for human resources was. “We need people in many areas, so I do not believe that any study at this time will be a waste, although some are more critical than others. It is quite daunting, but it is also in times like these that our strongest attributes manifest themselves and the best in us comes out.”
The Prime Minister also informed the group that upon the successful completion of their studies, the government of St. Maarten will meet those who are recruited to work for government half-way, with benefits such as allowance for furnishing, a free trip back for them and their family members, baggage allowance, transportation, accommodation cost and study loan allowance.
“I say half-way, because there is a part that we can’t buy and you can’t sell and that is love for country,” Wescot-Williams concluded.