March 9, 2022

Establishing a Moko Jumbie Culture in St. Martin

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Funtopia Youth Initiative Foundation, (FYI) is excited to announce that they are one of the 13 recipients in the third round of funding provided by R4CR Trust Fund.

The foundation has developed a comprehensive project that focuses on Establishing a Moko Jumbie culture in St. Martin where participants can learn about Afro Caribbean culture, the art of stilt walking and engage in a number of social activities.

The project kicks off this week with open Registration for the expansion of the Stilt walking program in primary schools for the remainder of this school year. This funding also allows persons from the general community age groups 5 to 12 and 13 to 27 to participate in the first block of workshops which is scheduled to begin February 15, 2022, thru June 25, 2022.

Sessions will be held at the Festival Village in Philipsburg on scheduled days, to be announced. Online registration is open until February 14th.

The Funtopia Youth Initiative foundation has been active in the community since 2014 and is so grateful to be able to receive support in executing these projects to have a larger impact on the community.

This project is funded by the Government of the Netherlands under the Sint Maarten Trust fund, implemented by Resources for Community Resilience (R4CR), administered by VNGI, and overseen by The World Bank.

In addition, the initial FYI program was supported in collaboration with UNESCO Sint Maarten, as a part of the preservation of the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) attributes of Sint Maarten. UNESCO continues to support the program. FYI is grateful for the support and recognition of value these programs provide our community.

The main attraction of this project is the first annual MOKOFEST, which is scheduled for Sunday 26, June 2022 which will be a pre-Emancipation Day celebration of afro Caribbean culture which will include food, music, and fashion and of course Stilt walking presentations.

Other programs within this project include Stilt walking summer camp, including art and culture workshops. A special highlight of these programs features international stilt performers and trainers from Trinidad & Tobago as our guests. The summer program will conclude with the 1st St. Martin Longest stilt walk, which will be the first walkathon to take place on the island on stilts.

The second block of training for the afternoon school program will take place from September through December, and registration will open in August.    

In October all participating schools will partake in a friendly tournament of basketball on stilts to showcase the athleticism of the students. FYI founder Lucinda Audain says, “We are grateful for the support we are receiving and excited to deliver these wonderful programs. We are encouraging the general community to come out and support the youth participating in these trainings.”

Be sure to stay connected to our social media page on Facebook for additional information at . Different aspects of the project will be communicated via the media to keep the community informed.

If you want more information about this project or you want to be a part of this movement, please contact the foundation at