Minister Schouten: Financial guarantee for the future of the social workplace

The social workplace on Saba will receive guaranteed financing during this Cabinet term. This was announced today by Minister Carola Schouten (Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions) during her working visit to the Caribbean Netherlands.

During the working visit to the Caribbean Netherlands, Minister Schouten first visited Saba. Among others, she visited the social workplace ‘The Garden’ where people with a distance to the labor market grow vegetables and fruit for the local population. The Garden has room for nine people. However, stable financial resources are lacking. Minister Schouten is therefore offering a guaranteed budget for The Garden until 2025.

Minister Schouten visiting The Garden

Minister Schouten: “It is important that everyone can participate to the best of their ability. Every person is valuable and has something to contribute. I definitely saw that at The Garden. The employees I spoke to, work with pleasure and dedication. One person called it ‘teamwork’ to keep The Garden going. And together we must do it. Therefore, the government wants to guarantee financing for this Cabinet term in order to offer a future to the social workplace. We will be discussing structural funding in the period thereafter later on.”

Lonneke Schut, Director of the Saba Reach Foundation, the foundation under which The Garden falls: “The social workplace on Saba is of great added value because it is a place where people get a second chance and where development and growth are worked on at the same time. Stable financial support is very welcome.”

Second social workplace

In addition, the Minister announced that work and development company Weener XL from Den Bosch (European Netherlands) will develop a pilot for a second social workplace on the island together with Saba. “Not everyone can get to work in The Garden. It involves physically demanding work in the sun. The director of The Garden wants to open a second workplace where people can do creative manual labour for sale on the local market. The government wants to support and finance the pilot.”

The outcome of the pilot will also be included in discussions on structural funding.

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