Following Hurricane Irma there were a flurry of non-profits — known as non-governmental organizations or NGOs — that popped up in an effort to provide much needed support and relief to the island of Saint Martin. SXM Strong has partnered with a few of these NGOs that we’ve fully vetted and feel are busy doing their best to make a difference in Saint Martin, both immediately following the storm and into the future.
Following Irma, most NGOs got to work on Saint Martin as soon as they could, gathering resources, sending aid, and reaching out to help the island as quickly as possible. SXM Project was no exception.
A founder of SXM Project, Jon Bobbett, was one of the first private citizens to bring in a container full of relief supplies shortly after the storm. He took off from San Juan, Puerto Rico, with a plane loaded with relief supplies, no official flight plan since the SXM airport had no communication, and landed in Sint Maarten not knowing what to expect. That was how SXM Project began.
Since that first flight, SXM Project has been busy sending relief supplies to the island and distributing them to those in need. Recently, they’ve began to partner with other NGOs on the island in an effort to expand their reach. On February 10, 2017, partnering with Jeff Jhangiani and All About a Smile, they delivered a generator to a family who’d been without power since the storm hit.
They’ve recently ended the first phase of their project, distributing food and relief supplies to those who need it most. I was in Saint Martin for that last phase and filmed a short piece of footage to show what was happening that day.
Phase two now starts and will consist of work being done to help restore the community by providing them with more long-term assistance, such as appliance and furniture replacement. Phase three, which is still in the planning phase, will consist of a legacy project aimed at providing employment opportunities and a strengthening of the overall economic infrastructure.