Dutch State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment Jetta Klijnsma earlier this week released an overview of the projects to help combat poverty in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This writes The Daily Herald. Twelve projects for St. Eustatius and eight for Saba.
The projects that are approved for St. Eustatius are in the area of youth unemployment, school work, and empowerment of teenage girls, school breakfast, a broad school, job programmes, social worker, diabetes prevention, day care, neighbourhood sports coach and people in need of extra care.
Two of the projects that were approved for Saba directly deal with combating of poverty, while the other projects are in the area of youth rehabilitation, employment opportunities, day care and the renovation of low-income housing.
On St. Eustatius, high quality school work coaching will be offered for youngsters aimed at preventing drop outs, to work on learning backlogs, coaching into internships or work, having useful daily activities, mastering the Dutch language and enabling a healthy meal. There will also be after-school activities and assistance with school work for teenage girls. All pupils of the public primary school will receive a healthy breakfast.
Job programmes will be developed in St. Eustatius for local labourers at the bottom of the labour market in sectors like tourism, cleaning and sub-contractors. Fifteen workers will be educated at NuStar and offered a job at NuStar or one of the sub-contractors if successful.
Also in St. Eustatius, a social worker will be appointed, as well as a neighbourhood sports coach to organise activities. Research and prevention of diabetes will be subsidised, as well as the subsidising of day care facilities for (single) mothers to enable them to work or study. People in need of extra care will be assisted in becoming more self-reliant through simple physical ad- aptations in their home.
On Saba, the public assistance arrangement for low-income families will be expanded to make repairs to their homes possible. Delinquent youngsters will be able to carry out their community service in the form of a labour project under a rehabilitation officer. Paid work will be offered at Public Works for delinquent youngsters, who have completed their community service to increase their chances at a regular job later on. This will be combined as much as possible with the public assistance arrangement project.
The re-integration of local labourers at the bottom of the labour market will be subsidised through paid work experience opportunities, the offering of schooling and training, job coaching and assistance.
The professionalism at Linzey Day Care Centre will be increased through the training and coaching of personnel, and investments will be made to upgrade materials. The backlog in maintenance of thirty low-income homes of Own Your Own Home Foundation will be eliminated, making use of small contractors.
Thirteen projects have been approved for Bonaire. Funds will be available for integral district improvement, the elimination of the digital backlog in poor districts, self-management for elderly and people with a light physical handicap, organising sports activities, coaching youngsters so they can live on their own, go to school or work in a project named Shark. Homes will be renovated of low-income families who will also be offered training to increase their chances at paid work. Three job programmes in the area of construction, agriculture and tourism/hotels/restaurants have been identified in Bonaire. Also, emergency social facilities will be offered, and the day care centres strengthened.
State Secretary Klijnsma has made US $4 million available for projects to combat poverty throughout the Caribbean Netherlands for the coming year. She stated in her letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament that poverty issues can only be tackled through an integral approach.
This approach will contribute to tackling poverty, improving the position of children and their families, providing social support for vulnerable groups in society, and the schooling of people to increase their chances on the labour market.