“My parents are safe, but the island is a mess”

ICT-student Ronak Mangtani comes from Sint Marten

He tries to stay cool, but it is not easy for him. The hurricane Irma made a big mess of the island he was born on: Sint Marten. “I spoke to my parents. They are okay, but the hurricane blew the roof off their house. They are staying at the neighbours now.”

“It won’t help if I panic now, but it’s clear the island is a big mess. It worries me, also because of the chaos and the unsafe situation with the plundering. I’m afraid about what’s going to happen”, Ronak Mangtani says.

Share information
After the disaster he came together with two other students at Fontys who also originate from Sint-Marten. “We try to share all the information we can get. For that reason, we also created a Whatsapp group. Teenagers on Sint Marten are using apps like Snapchat: that is where we get our pictures and movies from.”

The island suffered from hurricanes before, Ronak says, but never as bad as this time. “Especially for a small island like Sint Marten it is a real disaster. I’m also worried about the young people who can’t go to school now. It can be bad for their future. Maybe they won’t have the chance to go study abroad, like I had. I really hope people will help the island population to recover. That is why I want to share as much information as I can, to help raise general awareness of the situation at Sint Marten.”

Stay strong
Ronak is a first year student at Fontys Hogeschool ICT. “My parents worked hard to get me here. That’s also the reason I feel I have to stay strong. I can’t let them down now. I hope I have more time to talk with them this weekend, because until now we were only able to have short conversations.” [Petra Merkx]

The video below - Ronak received from Sint-Marten - shows the plundering.