During a recent visit to the Netherlands, Senior Social Worker Lucrecia Paulina of the Public Entity Saba had several meetings to discuss investments and assistance for social projects on Saba in areas such as poverty, domestic violence, budgeting, as well as culture.
Together with Island Secretary Tim Muller, Paulina had meetings with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW) and the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport (VWS) in The Hague to talk about the policy and financing of social domain projects with an emphasis on eradicating of poverty on Saba. The new energy subsidy in the form of compensation for low-income families was discussed with SZW.
With the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK, Paulina talked about energy-saving household appliances and the possibility of installing solar panels in the long run, items that can help to cut the electricity bill. The plan for energy-saving products for low-income households has been approved.
Paulina visited the Netherlands Institute for Budgeting NIBUD in Utrecht. NIBUD will be providing a budget course on Saba in October this year. Difficulties with budgeting can cause great stress and even debts in families. Through this course, people can learn to set goals and deal with monetary stress.
In The Hague, Paulina visited a social community team where she learned about the broad approach of how this team works in their district. In Zwolle, Paulina went to an organization called Kadera which runs a shelter for women and children. The Public Entity Saba is busy setting up a shelter and the visit to the shelter in Zwolle provided useful information about how to design a shelter, how to go about care for the clients and their safety.
Island Secretary Muller and Paulina, on behalf of Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Rolando Wilson and policy advisor Elsa Peterson, had a meeting at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to talk about promoting cultural education and cultural affairs in general on Saba. The Ministry indicated that it can help further develop and implement a cultural policy on Saba.
The accent will be on the local culture and history in teaching materials at the schools, outside the schools through cultural/artistic organizations, and within society in general. There is a formal Work Group Cultural Education of the four countries in the Kingdom, and it was concluded that the Caribbean Netherlands should also be included in it. Also established on the level of the four countries in the Kingdom is a work group that prepares the establishing of a Kingdom Fund for Cultural Research and Documentation.
Saba will tag along in this process which has as its ultimate goal to work on creating more consciousness, through cultural education, of people’s own identity, cultural diversity, a contribution to social cohesion and promote the wellbeing of the community. Saba on September 27 signed a culture covenant with the Netherlands, Bonaire and St. Eustatius.