Saba Greens and Artisanal Treasures officially opened

Saba Reach Foundation (SRF) celebrated what it called the “evolution” of its social workplace and the launch of a new branch of the organisation when it officially opened the Saba Greens and Artisanal Treasures shop last week Friday. “With the opening of our new shop, we are not just creating a space for commerce, we are creating a platform for local producers and artisans to showcase their talents and where we offer healthy fruits, vegetables, arts and crafts, all produced on Saba,” said SRF Interim Director Werner van der Linden. After relocating several times over the past several years, SRF has found a permanent home in the former Saba Artisan Foundation building in The Bottom.

Saba Reach Foundation Interim Director Werner van der Linden (at podium) addressing attendees at the launch of the Saba Greens and Artisanal Treasures shop last Friday.

SRF Board Chairman Vito Charles said the foundation was proud to keep the original name while using the building. “The activities that we will engage in this store are closely tied to the legacy of this building, which was where many hand­made Saban products were made and sold,” he said.

Werner said this is a testament to the foundation’s commit­ment to support local businesses and preserve the island’s unique culture and heritage.

He said SRF’s board, the public entity Saba and the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment are exploring new opportunities to support employees and promote diversity, re­spect and inclusion.

“Our programmes, namely the SKJ programme, the Adult Continuing Education programme and recently-introduced Saba Works programme are more than just spaces where we provide opportunity. For us, these programmes are where we give participants a chance to acquire the skills to become self-sufficient, self-reliant and develop autonomy, ideals which we should want for everyone in our community,” Charles said. From a community garden as its sole social workplace, SRF is now providing more opportunities for employment, income and personal development for those “distanced” from the la­bour market.

Currently, SRF employs more than 30 persons, who are placed at various private- and public-sector institutions in Saba. They are now provided with better benefits than before, such as having fixed contracts with vacation time and paid sick leave, instead of “0-hour” contracts.

Participants also have access to an SRF job coach, who assists with personal development and who encourages them to find a job in the regular labour market.

The Daily Herald.


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