SABA—A record number of persons has signed up for this year’s Saba DOET on Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, the annual ‘make-a-difference’ event where volunteers help out in the community.
Non-profit organizations on Saba were encouraged earlier this year to register their project, and a good many did so. In total there are 21 projects for which some 400 persons are volunteering, some of them signing up for more than one project. The large turn-out is partly due to the participation of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) and its students, as well as students of the Sacred Heart Primary School (SHS). The majority of the projects have been submitted by the SCS.
Among the projects this year is a large clean-up of Spring Bay on Saturday, organized by the SCS Hiking Club, together with the Catholic St. Paul’s Conversion and Saba Nature Education. Cleaned up and removed will be a large amount of plastic waste which has washed ashore in the bay. The trash will be brought up on the steep, rugged hill of Kelbey’s Ridge by a human chain. Saba Red Cross volunteers already did some preparatory work on Saturday, May 22 and filled up many garbage bags. In preparation of this clean-up project, the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) is organizing a trail blaze of the Spring Bay trail on Friday.
Another project that can count on a large number of participants is the community clean-up of St. John’s. On Friday, SCS students will go out with gloves and garbage bags to clean the entire village where the school is located.
Stone collecting party
Primary school students will take part in a stone collecting party on Friday, gathering loose stones and rocks on the school’s playground to make the area safe again. A number of renovations will be done at the playground on Saturday.
The Kuminsa di Nobo (‘Start Again’) Foundation holds an event on both Friday and Saturday to repaint the lines on the public parking lots at the harbor and the airport. The Reverend Gerard Bisschop Foundation has taken on the task to clean and give the bus stop in Hell’s Gate a touch-up and to paint the community center in that village on Saturday.
The Saba Reach Foundation has two projects: paint and spruce up the shed at The Garden in The Level on Friday to continue welcome customers who come there to buy fresh produce, and on Saturday, the construction of a new hydroponic rain gutter system at The Garden in order to increase produce.
Feel Good Friday
The Child Focus Foundation in the Windwardside is holding a ‘Feel Good Friday’ where 10 young Saban girls will participate in a spa day with a short meditative practice and a selfcare lesson. The event serves to promote self-love, selfcare and body positivity. The Saba Lions Club organizes an event for senior citizens at the Eugenius Johnson Center on Friday where volunteers will play with games with them.
The SCS is organizing a special Meals on Wheels edition. The regular Meals on Wheels of the Lions Club doesn’t serve meals during weekends, so in this third edition, SCS students and staff will treat the 50 clients to a meal and desert on Saturday.
On Saturday, volunteers will work on the new SCS school boat, a former rescue boat that needs to be restored and repaired. At the SCS school garden, a small shed and an irrigation system will be built on Saturday. The SCS is initiating the building of picnic tables at the Godfried Bontebal Technical Center at Cove Bay on Friday and Saturday.
Mess of wires
The hall, a former youth center, behind the Catholic church in the Windwardside rented by the SCS will be cleaned and the ‘mess of wires’ in the building sorted and tested. The SCS and Agricultural Station are organizing an aloe vera planting event on Friday at the school parking lot to prevent erosion and to beautify the area. Chess tables and chairs will be built at the SCS to promote chess playing.
The SCS Snorkel and Diving Club is hosting an ocean clean-up at the harbor on Friday and Saturday. A bike clean-up will be held at the SCS on Friday to inspect, clean up and repair the bikes used in the triathlon. Also, at the SCS, some 50 air matrasses of the school will be inspected on Saturday.
This will be the third year that Saba DOET will take place. The event has been growing in size and popularity. In 2020, Saba DOET had 16 projects with about 200 volunteers. The Oranje Fonds is the organization in the Netherlands that initiates the annual volunteer event throughout the kingdom. On Saba, the event is co-hosted by the Saba Lions Club, whose members play an active role in the event.