PHILIPSBURG – On Thursday, K1 Britannia Foundation, a local non-profit organization, launched an initiative called “Spirit of St. Maarten”. The Spirit of St. Maarten is a flagship for the youth and other charitable causes, a long-term solution for sustaining projects, through partnership with the maritime and tourism industry to offer day-cruises, night cruises, and charters upon this flagship. Proceeds gained through this, is to help sustain charitable projects on the island. The launch took place at Lagoonies Bistro, where K1 Vice President Priya Thirumur and Program Manager Iris Hakkens lead the presentation of K1’s projects over the last year, including a recap of their deployment to the Bahamas, and into the announcement and tour of the flagship, Spirit of St. Maarten.
Since K1’s incorporation in 2014, the organization’s focus has been on providing vulnerable and at-risk youth developmental and educational opportunities through a wide variety of programs within their Foster Care and Second Chance Program. Building on their volunteer program, K1 combined volunteerism and disaster relief during Hurricane Irma which later evolved into an official disaster relief program, called K1 DIRECT, with the assistance of Carnival Cruise Line & Holland America Line. This relationship with the cruise industry inspired the idea to develop a shore excursion that contracts with the cruise line and other touristic partners, thus creating jobs for youths, but most importantly, a sustainable year-round source of income for sustainable projects.
The Spirit of St. Maarten is based on a social enterprise business model. The ultimate goal is to achieve sustainability by enabling non-profits to support themselves financially in innovative ways instead of relying solely on grants and donations. This flagship will be employing youth in maritime, as well as in hospitality, thus creating a holistic approach to support vulnerable youth through several aspects.
The launch brought together many supporters of K1, where during the speech, Vice President and Cofounder of K1 Thirumur, mentioned, “The Spirit of St. Maarten is not a K1 project, it is an island project. This is why we have decided to call the boat the Spirit of St. Maarten, as a flagship for programs with the island’s youth and to find long-term solutions for social challenges faced by those on this island. It has been warming to see the support of the community, the maritime community, coming together to bring this very special flagship to life.”
Present was also Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, where she commended the young ladies and gentlemen at K1 and K1 DIRECT for their service. Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs stated, “Having developed this initiative would be sustainable for the foundation as well as others, in getting Sint Maarten’s most vulnerable up and running, she believes that it is an excellent project. The tenacity of each volunteer is very admirable and I cannot wait to see what their next project will be,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.
K1 would like to share its utmost gratitude to persons who made this project possible, including partners like Electec, FKG, Lagoon Marina, Lagoonies, Intermar, Budget Marine, Island Water World, Yanmar, Dave Dowling and Mark, Nexus, Bobby’s Marina, Carnival, Emilio and Erin Johnson, PDG, Grant Thorton, Marine Couture, and many others.
For more information on the Spirit of St. Maarten or K1 Britannia Foundation visit their website www.k1britanniafoundation.org, send an email to email@example.com or visit their Facebook www.facebook.com/k1sxm.