Speech Dirkje de Jong about the Child Helpline

Good evening listeners.

My name is Dirkje de Jong, and I work close together with the public health department of the government of St. Eustatius.

I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to me this evening in these difficult times of the Corona pandemic.

I wish to share an important message, for the wellbeing of the children, teenagers and young adults of Statia.

Since early 2018, the Public Entity of St. Eustatius and UNICEF Netherlands, are working to bring the Child helpline to the island.

Now, during the time of the Corona Virus, we want to start the Child Helpline for Statia in close collaboration with Fundation Telefon pa Hubentud, the Child help line on Aruba.

In the near future, children and youth of Statia will be able to reach them by telephone.

For now, the young people of Statia can reach the Child help line by email. The email address is 131forstatia@gmail.com.

I would like to take this opportunity to address the children and youngsters of St. Eustatius especially.

The situation we are living in at the moment, with the Corona virus, may be the first time for many of you that something big like this is happening.

We understand this can be a tense and uncertain time, you may be  worried, scared or concerned.

Perhaps, now that you are home all the time, your concerns may grow, perhaps you have problems that did not bother you as much before.

If you have questions, concerns or a problem, it is always good to talk to someone about it.

If you do, please send an email to the Child Helpline.

The Child Helpline is there to read your question or request, and ‘listen’ to what you need and what you think of something and will answer your email.

Sharing your concerns, thoughts or asking questions to understand things better, can be a big relieve.

Keeping all your thoughts to your self does not help to make you feel better or solve your problems.

The people working at the Child helpline, take this very seriously. It is all about you and what you need.

The Child helpline is run by a group of volunteers.

The volunteers of the Child helpline speak 4 languages: English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamentu.

They will listen to your worries, try to help you and offer you advice.

The people of the Child helpline won’t ask where you live. You don’t need to mention your name or address.

The service is free, private and confidential. The Child helpline guarantees your anonymity.

Every child and youngster under the age of 25 can contact the Child helpline.

The organization is based on Aruba.

The people that work for the Child Helpline, promise not to share anything you tell them, with anyone else.

If you are worried,  feel afraid or if you are anxious, OR you just want to ask a question, you can send an email to 131forstatia@gmail.com

Of course you can also talk to your parents, your friends or someone from your school.

But sometimes you just can't reach them when you need them.

It is possible that you have already talked to them, but they do not understand, or do not want to listen to you again.

It can be quite difficult to talk about your questions or problems, even with someone you know very well.

You are not always sure whether they take it seriously and keep your story secret.

Dear Children of Statia. If you have any concerns, PLEASE send an email to the Child Help line.

The volunteers will answer all your emails. After you received an answer, you can email them back, as often as you like, to share your thoughts and ideas. 

Reach out to them on 131forstatia@gmail.com. That is 1-3-1 for Statia at g-mail dot com.

Please have a look at the video about the Child Helpline on the facebook page of the government of St. Eustatius, as well. 

Of course, parents may have questions of their own about the wellbeing of their children.

Parents may want advice about how to deal with their children now that they are at home.

For parents, there is a seperate service available.

Parents can address any questions about parenting to Center for Youth and Family, Jeugdzorg en Gezinsvoogdij Caribisch Nederland (JGCN)

You can call or send a Whatsapp during weekdays between 8 am 5pm starting by coming Monday, April 6.

The number is five nine nine, seven nine zero, zero four five zero (+599 790-0450). That is five nine nine, seven nine zero, zero four five zero.

I want to thank you for your time and wish you all a good evening.