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COVID-19 Essentials easing burden

COVID-19 Essentials easing burden

Donation box with food.

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As Barbados and the rest of the world brace for the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, a local initiative has been launched to help people who will be unemployed during this period.

Monique Archer, Chairperson of COVID-19 Essentials, the programme aimed to help those in need said Barbadians who are out of work have a lifeline and will be able to access a basket of food and goods as COVID-19 Essentials launches.The COVID-19 Essentials team comprises a group of local individuals with a wealth of experience in managing charities, projects, disaster relief initiatives, purchasing and logistics.

The initial seed funding of BDS$100,000 was provided by Bjorn Bjerkhamn and his family. In making the presentation Mr. Bjerkhamn explained the reason for supporting the initiative, “Barbados has been my home since I was a boy and I have seen her ride many a wave, but what is happening now is unprecedented and the reality is that many will be, and some already are, impacted by lay-offs and job losses.” He added, “Many who have had a sense of security their whole lives may now find themselves struggling and many businesses may find it hard to survive, so my family wants to do all we can to help those who will be impacted and we felt this organization offered this opportunity.”

Archer explained, “There are several strong organizations who have come together to look after the basic needs of Barbadians, including the Government of Barbados who has launched the ‘Adopt a Family’ initiative. This has gained traction with support from many organizations.” She added, “We see our programme as complementing Government’s work ensuring the most vulnerable will be able to survive during these times. We recognized that this could potentially be the first time Barbadians will be laid off and lose jobs in such large numbers as a result of COVID-19, so we have focused on assisting those who are about to go through very tough times.” The group has the potential to make a difference by helping provide for them and their families. She said, “We felt that we could help and are happy to do our part.”
The group is partnering with the Rotary Club of Barbados, through its charitable fund, Rotary Trust Fund Projects Inc, to mobilize the procurement and distribution of essential food items and supplies which will be distributed to support those Barbadians most impacted economically by COVID-19. Peter Williams, President of Rotary, explained, “A secured warehouse has been kindly loaned to us and is prepared; however, given the planned shut-down, we have brought forward the purchase of boxes and other supplies so we can begin deliveries hopefully in the next two weeks.” The essential food and goods baskets will then be distributed island-wide using the Salvation Army and the Red Cross networks.

The COVID-19 Essentials team compromises David Edwards, Peter Williams, Heather Tull, Ron Davis, Elvin Sealy, Barbara Trieloff Deane, Jennifer Juman and Philip Edwards.
Persons who wish to assist the work of COVID-19 Essentials are asked to note the contact details below:

 

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