Young people on Saba now have a place they can find information and turn to with their questions about sexual health. SabaLovin, Saba’s first sexual and reproductive health website, was launched on Tuesday, February 14.
It was no coincidence that the Public Health Department, which initiated this innovative website, chose Valentine’s Day for the launch. Youngsters, stakeholders and government officials gathered under a large tent in front of the Government Administration Building to listen to the speeches, toast to the new website and cutting of the cake.
Commissioner of Public Health and Social Affairs Rolando Wilson rightfully called it a “memorable event” and a “stepping stone” for the SabaLovin to grow into a dynamic Saba-based website which he said would “undoubtedly” be tapped into by other Caribbean islands. He complimented Public Health/Youth healthcare nurse Tedisha Gordon-Lee and her team Allan Carolina and Jane O’Flynn for this major achievement.
“This website aims to raise awareness and it gives our young people the opportunity to access information about their reproductive wellbeing in a positive and healthy way. Youngsters are now afforded the opportunity to access information where they can see their needs reflected,” said Wilson, who together with employees of the Department of Community Development and Public Health, wore a SabaLovin t-shirt for the occasion saying “Give me some of that SabaLovin” on the back.
Saba Comprehensive School student Jose Rodriguez said that as young adults are in the process of discovering and exploring their sexuality, it is important that they have access to accurate, reliable information. “This website has been developed to provide teenagers with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health. It covers a wide range of topics, from sexual anatomy to relationships, consent, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections.”
Platform for youth
SabaLovin is more than a source of information, said Rodriquez. “It is a platform for young adults to connect and engage with others, to ask questions and receive support from experts in the field. The website also provides resources for parents, teachers, and other adults to support the sexual health education of young people.”
Tedisha Gordon-Lee said the process to get SabaLovin off the ground had been no easy journey. After the initial efforts with the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sport (VWS) in 2019 to explore how to tackle the needs of young people relating to sexual health, a working group was set up early 2020. And then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which required all focus of Public Health authorities on Saba and in the Netherlands.
After the Public Health Department was able to enter a more controlled phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work to build Saba’s very own sexual health website resumed early 2022. With the support of SOAIDS Netherlands and the Ministry of VWS, the team of the Public Health Department built the website.
SabaLovin means pride, empowerment, honesty, respect, diversity and bravery. The tagline on the SabaLovin homepage says it all: empowering Saban youths to navigate love, sex and relationships. “The greatest form of empowerment is being well informed. We are striving to realize a healthy future for our Saban youths. SabaLovin is an aspiration; it redefines the way we look at sexual wellbeing on Saba,” said Gordon-Lee.