More About Us

While Hurricane Irma struck the islands of St. Maarten, Saba & St. Eustatius, Cyriel and John decided they needed to take action. They got together with friends who’s loved ones were also struck by Hurricane Irma and decided to centralise the efforts to #rebuildsxm.

Via social media and many news outlets, the #rebuildsxm team managed to create an enormous awareness for what happened to the island after hurricane Irma struck. This initiative to create awareness drove them to even greater lengths and they decided to setup a non-profit organisation Stichting Rebuild SSS Islands where all efforts for the islands could be united. #rebuildsxm was born!

With the attention our #rebuildsxm team received from the many news outlets and social media, we decided to setup a crowdfunding page to raise donations for projects aimed at helping our people once the emergency services have left. 100% of the donations will go to these projects in support of restoring the daily life of our people.

In addition the foundation also connects various initiatives to one another in order to assist the SSS-islands. Initiatives such as the collection of clothing, food, medicine and much more have popped up all over social media. If we centralize our efforts we can achieve more together.

From the #rebuildsxm team “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts”


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Meet the Team

Cyriel Pfennings-Richardson - RebuildSXM

Cyriel Pfennings-Richardson


Hi my name is Cyriel and I was born and raised on Sint Maarten. I'm one of the co-founders of Unified Sint Maarten Connection (USC), a husband and avid sportsman. Although I'm not currently residing on St.Maarten, this particular event had an enormous effect on me, not only because my family and friends reside on the island, but because Sint Maarten is very dear to my heart. Together with John I look forward to helping the people of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius.

John Sandiford - RebuildSXM

John Sandiford


Hi I'm John. Born and raised on Sint Maarten and I'm an interaction designer in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. A lot of my family and friends live on Sint Maarten and that's one of the reasons I started this campaign together with Cyriel. We believe that if we unite, together we can make a difference with this campaign. The people in Sint Maarten need us and I am doing my utmost best to help them out.

Michel Williams - RebuildSXM

Michel Williams

Team Member

Born and raised on Sint Maarten, I have deep love for these islands. I am currently living and working in Utrecht, The Netherlands as a IT Engineer. I have many family, friends and loved ones on Sint Maarten, Sint Eustations and Saba. Being away from our home at this time of great need is truely hartbreaking. I am very excited to work with such a great team of dedicated and motivated people and help those in need!

Shannakka Cannegieter - RebuildSXM

Shannakka Cannegieter

Team Member

Born on St.Maarten and partly raised there till my 8th before moving to Amsterdam. My goal is to rebuild the islands and allow the communication and relationship with the Netherlands to be of value for all concerned. Opening dialogue with streamlining interests as a change agent. My family and friends reside there and I want all kids to have the choice to run around barefoot on the beach while singing the national anthem ‘Oh sweet St.Maarten land’ with pride and confidence for the future.

Shurendy Martina - RebuildSXM

Shurendy Martina

Team Member

Hi, I’m Shurendy. Raised on St. Maarten and currently a Registered Nurse residing in ’s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Taking care of people has been my calling in life. Realising that I was unable to help and take care of my family and friends after the recent event, was the main reason I joined this initiative. We want the people of St. Maarten to know that even though we’re not residing on the island, we haven’t forgotten them.

Lancelot Thompson - RebuildSXM

Lancelot Thompson

Team Member

Hi, I'm Lancelot Thompson, born in Zwolle, raised on St. Maarten (for 20 years), and currently based in Hilversum. I can be described as an authentic sports man, who's gained experience as a Community Development Manager and a Sport Business Manager. Although I've been living in the Netherlands for quite some time now, St. Maarten is still where my heart is. Seeing the destruction and the devastation Irma has caused not only to my friends & families homes, but the entire island has deeply sadden me. It's not only right but it is a St. Maarteners duty to help and rebuild St. Maarten and our neighboring islands back to it's NEW and IMPROVE self.

Jisk Goslinga - RebuildSXM

Jisk Goslinga

Team Member

Emigrating at the age of two to Sint Maarten from a small town in the Netherlands, I got to experience my Childhood as no other. From the 37 beautiful beaches, to the abundance of friends, to the vast amount of sports practiced on the island. In combination with a multicultural society and general warmth and openness of the people, all contributed to me having an awesome youth on the island. Seeing the devastation of hurricane Irma saddens me greatly. We got back on our feet after Luis, and we will bounce back from Irma, better and stronger then ever!

Andy Samuel

Team Member

My name is Andy Samuel. I was born and raised on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten. Proud father of beautiful baby boy living together with him and my lovely girlfriend in our new home in Amsterdam. Because I experienced the devastation that Hurricane Luis left behind in 1995, I did not have to think twice to join together with these other amazing individuals to contribute in relieving the situation on the affected islands. All of this so my son can also experience the gems our precious islands have to offer.