There’s a new way for visitors to St. Maarten to enjoy day-cruises, night cruises, and charters while at the same time benefiting local youth and the community too. In December, local non-profit organization the K1 Britannia Foundation, launched an initiative called ‘Spirit of St. Maarten’. Proceeds gained through this will help sustain charitable projects on the island. The launch took place at Lagoonies Bistro, where Priya Thirumur, K1’s vice president, and Iris Hakkens, K1’s program manager, gave a presentation of K1’s projects over the last year and both announced and led a tour of the flagship, Spirit of St. Maarten.
“The Spirit of St. Maarten is not a K1 project, it is an island project. Therefore, 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,” says Thirumur.
The goal of the Spirit of St. Maarten’s social enterprise business model is sustainability by enabling nonprofits 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.
Partners who made this project possible include 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 Thornton, Marine Couture, and many others. www.k1britanniafoundation.org