October 10, 2023 -PHILIPSBURG – After 3 months of rigorous training the second cohort of the Women’s Basic Self-Defense Training
came to an end on Thursday October 05 at the Aziana Restaurant, Bobby’s Marina. The celebrants enjoyed a relaxed
and fulfilled evening in the presence of the Minister of VSA Hon. Omar Ottley, and the Dept. Head of Community
Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs/Women’s Desk Chantale George-Groeneveldt. Minister Ottley congratulated the
ladies on their achievement and encouraged them not to stay at this level but to keep building and striving for bigger and better.
He also put his full commitment behind the continuation of this project which will inevitability become a program offered to
women and other vulnerable groups in the community through the Department of Community Development, Family &
Humanitarian Affairs/Women’s Desk.
The training commenced on June 06 and ended on September 29th with the group of 12 women sitting their final exams at the
Rupert Maynard Community Center, St Peters. This was the second group of women trained in basic self-defense techniques.
Over the period participants were exposed to a cadre of self-defense techniques such as problem-solving techniques,
conditioning, strength training, tactical instruction, blocking techniques, hip throws and many more. The group of women
were trained through the Sint Maarten High Performance & Education Institute by highly qualified sensei Aarti Baran &
Byron Iseiba. The group started off with a large contingent of 20 women however, due to unforeseen circumstances 8 fell out.
Women’s Desk is truly grateful for all the ladies who saw the need to be trained in Basic Self Defense.
There are many benefits women & girls can derive from being exposed to the art of Basic Self Defense. It contributes to
women’s empowerment, building of self-confidence, and promoting increase knowledge and awareness that contribute to
the goal of preventing violence against women and girls this is just to mention a few as the benefits are numerous.
CDFHA/Women’s Desk will be working further with stakeholders to refine the training so that it can be more
manageable and suitable for other vulnerable groups to make use of. We are encouraging the community to stay tune for more
informing on the next training of the Basic Self Defense training
Community-based empowerment projects, including the one mentioned and others implemented by the Community
Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs/ Women's Desk, are of utmost importance. These projects cater to specific target groups, offering a support system for participants, opportunities for learning, networking prospects, and enhanced stakeholder
relationships. Minister Ottley emphasized that such initiatives also contribute to an increased capacity for problem-solving.
CDFHA/Women’s Desk take this opportunity to thank the SHEI Foundation for collaborating with us. We thank the Sensei
Aaarti Baran and Bryon Isebia for their hard work and dedication in training this group of strong and resilient women. Finally, we say a big thank you and Congratulations to this group of graduates of the Women’s Basic Self Defense group 2. We are enormously proud of you. CUDOS!