For the first time, many of Saba’s non-governmental organizations engaged Friday and Saturday in a series of volunteering activities as part of the Orange Fund’s “NL Doet” nationwide efforts to promote community participation in social welfare. The Orange Fund support social cohesion and integration projects and small-scale community initiatives, represented in the Caribbean Netherlands through the “Cooperating Funds” (Samenwerkende Fondsen), which is already actively supporting projects in Saba.
This year is the first time local organizations took part in the “NL Doet” campaign. Under the banner “Do Good, Feel Good,” The Saba Does activities brought together a dozen local organizations. Child Focus project leaders Aaron Soares and Suzanne Guido contacted the organization and joined the effort, while teacher Tracy Zagers brought in students and teachers of Saba Comprehensive School. In St. John’s some 12 pupils and teachers joined in the repainting of the staff room, and gave the stone wall a new artistic look. They had new curtains made with new rods as part of the facility’s facelift of the school which now had just secured furniture, Zagers said excitedly. She hopes this will become an annual event, since the “volunteering experience was such a great opportunity to bring the teachers and pupils closer together working for a common cause.”
Foundation Catholic Education, the organization overseeing Sacred Heart School, joined in the renovation under the coordination of teacher Elka Charles who also sought the involvement of the Saba Boys and Girls afterschool care programme. The Catholic Living Water Community in The Bottom joined with volunteer activities under the coordination of Sister Jennifer Jennings and the St. Paul’s Conversion Parish in Windwardside led by Father Danilo, Pastor, who received some highly motivated youths who repainted the Old Catholic Club House in Windwardside, a place that once hosted youth activities and the Scouts. The young volunteers’ incentive is that they are getting prepared for a trip to the Catholic World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2013. Wesleyan Church Foundation also mobilized volunteers under the leadership of Reverend Vernon Liburd.
Saba Health Care Foundation took part in different activities with Nurse Naomi Wilson at the helm.
Volunteers and board of Harry L. Johnson Museum held their own event in Windwardside on Friday working on landscaping and the beautification of the museum grounds.
Nearby, Nadine Granger and former Lt. Governor Sydney Sorton organized the volunteers of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, which recently celebrated its 134th anniversary. Volunteers scraped off and repainted the façade walls of the church’s entrance.
The biggest event took place Saturday at Eugenius Johnson Centre in Windwardside where several organizations joined hands for a special day of care for residents of the Old Age Home. The seniors were brought in government busses with nursing home staff for a day of pampering. Coordinated by Foundation Social Workplace Saba (FSWS) and led by programme director Cerissa Steel, the Adult Continuing Education Centre brought in students of the cosmetology classes. Led by course facilitator Esther Halley, the young volunteers gave the seniors hand massages and manicures. Saba Lions Club served a rich meal for the elderly and the volunteers. Aaron Soares of Kids Life Imagery Foundation brought his young photography assistants and set up a professional booth in which professional portraits were taken of their guests.