About Us

Growing Up Safe Sint Maarten

In May 2019, during an analysis of child abuse and neglect in Sint Maarten, thirty professionals working in the field of Child Protection were interviewed. Based on the outcome of the dialogues with these professionals, the Child Protection Working Group (Government of Sint Maarten) and UNICEF the Netherlands decided to publish a magazine to share knowledge, experiences and best practices among professionals working with children and the general public.

The first 6 issues were published in collaboration and with the technical support of Augeo Foundation. Growing Up Safe – Sint Maarten Magazine is an integral part of the Child Resilience and Protection Project, funded by the Government of the Netherlands through the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, and administered by the World Bank.

Child Protection Working Group (CPWG)
& National Child Protection Platform (NCPP)

The CPWG plays a vital role in promoting child protection in Sint Maarten. It has been working since September 2019 with the ongoing plan to establish the National Child Protection Platform (NCPP), a permanent multi-stakeholder entity. The NCPP envisions a future where children and young people can grow and develop into self-actualized individuals, freely expressing themselves in a safe and nurturing environment with reduced exposure to violence and threats. UNICEF the Netherlands, provides technical support towards the formation of this platform.

As an inter-ministerial group, the current CPWG comprises representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS), and Public Health, Social Development, and Labour (VSA). Their collective expertise and dedication ensure that the content of this magazine is relevant, insightful, and valuable for professionals and the wider community.

Through the Growing Up Safe Sint Maarten Magazine, we aim to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect and support the well-being of children. Together, we can create a brighter future where every child on Sint Maarten can thrive and reach their full potential.

Olga Mussington-Service

Head, Student Support Services Division, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Meredith Concincion​

Foster Care Coordinator, Foundation Judicial Institutes St. Maarten, Ministry of Justice

Kimberly Dort-Brown​

Director, Court of Guardianship, Ministry of Justice

Soraya Agard-Lake​

Head, Department of Youth, Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Chantale George-Groeneveldt​

Head, Department of Community Development, Family and Humanitarian Affairs, VSA

Tatia Brunings

Project Leader, Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA)

Publishing Team & Contributors (2023)

  • Publisher: Child Protection Working Group 
  • Editorial office: Soraya Agard-Lake, Kimberly Brown, Meredith Concincion, Tatia Brunnings, Chantale Groeneveldt, Olga Mussington-Service, Suzette Moses Burton, Laura Bijnsdorp
  • Writer(s): All text by Laura Bijnsdorp (unless otherwise contributed and specified)
  • Editor & Correction: Rajesh Chintaman
  • Photography: Laura Bijnsdorp, Alexandra Schaede, UNICEF the Netherlands & other contributors.
  • Graphics and Design: Altus Branding Agency

*The above reflects the current publishing team. Since the Magazine’s inaugural issue in 2020, there have been several other team members and contributors.