Published On: Fri, Oct 25th, 2019

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi and residents to clean gutter

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (6)
AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (11)Four doctors in training from American Univerity of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine teamed up with the St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation and Pond Island residents last Saturday, October 19, to transform a debris-filled gutter on Pond Island to a clean and clear flowing waterway.

The four students put aside their lab coats, books, and pens to give back to the community of St. Maarten by working with others to clean the AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (10)gutter filled with overgrown bushes. The cleanup event was part of AUC’s Community Action Day.

Tzu Chi had been interacting with the residents on Pond Island for the past few months and had been giving them information about global warming and the major problem that results from the usage of single-use plastic.

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (9)One of the residents, Felix van der kKraats, has an office in the Pond Island area and he assists many of the predominantly Spanish-speaking residents as a translator and with paperwork. He helped to bring together residents to clean up the area and asked Tzu Chi to help in the cleaning exercise.

He said there are many children around the area and whenever it rains a lot, the area floods. The cleaning was primarily to create a safer AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (8)environment for the children in the area.

Meadowlands provided a garbage bin for the exercise. At the end of the clean up the large garbage receptacle was filled with debris and trash including plastic bags, plates, cups and beer bottles, amongst other items.

A total of 25 persons participated in the exercise including four from AUC; six from Tzu Chi and 15 residents.

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (7)At the end of the clean up one of the AUC students said it was “really inspiring” to see how hard everyone came together to work to clean the area. She was particularly impressed with the work done by the children who participated.

Another student said it had been “a very humbling experience” for her and she was grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community.

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (3)“It was a lot of fun. I got a little dirty, but overall it was a fun time,” another student said, adding that seeing the major change in the gutter after the cleaning exercise had been rewarding.

“Everyone did a fantastic job and there will be many more jobs like this in the future,” said one of the community volunteers.

AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (2)Following the cleaning exercise, drinks, snacks, and lunch was provided to all participants.

Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung is grateful for everyone for participating.AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (5)AUC students team up with Tzu Chi residents to clean gutter (4)