Telethon for Bahamas: Barbados Raising Funds for Hurricane-Hit Neighbour

Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe at yesterday’s press briefing on the national telethon in aid of The Bahamas. Looking on is Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong and Planning and Business Development Manager at CDEMA, Andria Grosvenor. (Photo Credit: BGIS)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday September 6, 2019 – Barbadians at home and in the diaspora are being encouraged to support a national telethon on Sunday to raise funds for parts of The Bahamas that have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

Barbados’ Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), David Comissiong, speaking yesterday at a press conference where details of the telethon were announced, said the effort was a demonstration of CARICOM in action and working. And he called on Barbadians to support The Bahamas in its time of need.

“We must develop a way of thinking in the Caribbean where, if something touches one, it touches all.  If damage is done to one, we are not going to leave any one country alone to have to face an emergency simply on its own resources, having to rebuild simply by itself,” he said.

“Our mindset is that we…will be our brothers and sisters’ keepers and we will come to each other’s assistance….We know Barbados has been going through a very difficult economic experience. We know that things are difficult for many Barbadians, but we have to acknowledge that right now, today, we are so much more fortunate than the people of the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama. They are now grappling with, in some cases, total destruction of their homes…loss of relatives and at their wits’ end to determine what’s next for them.”

Ambassador Comissiong and Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe stressed that no donation would be seen as too small.

The telethon will be held at the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday, and will be broadcast live by the platforms of all local media houses, as well as the Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation.

“We are also offering the stream to other individuals in Barbados, so that way we are able to reach just about anyone, regardless of whether they are here locally or if they are abroad,” Senator Moe explained.

Members of the public can also make donations to the CDEMA Barbados Bahamas Relief Fund at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. They can also make pledges on Sunday by calling or visiting CBC. 

Senator Moe explained that because of Bahamas’ distance from Barbados, it was better to send cash for the country to purchase needed items. 

“The Bahamas is in the western Caribbean, so logistically, it is very difficult for us to send supplies as we would normally do in these types of disasters when they occur in the eastern Caribbean….Therefore, we are encouraging all Barbadians, both here and abroad in the diaspora, to contribute to this worthy cause,” she urged.

Minister Moe also called on all religious organizations to take up “a special collection” on behalf of the people of The Bahamas, which could then be donated.

During the telethon, entertainers will perform at intervals and there will be messages from various people, including Prime Ministers in the region whose countries were hit by storms in the past, citizens of The Bahamas and religious groups.

Planning and Business Development Manager at CDEMA, Andria Grosvenor, thanked Government for hosting the national telethon. 

She said The Bahamas Government has identified a preliminary needs list, and added that cash donations were preferred because of the challenges in getting certain supplies to the Bahamas.

Noting that The Bahamas, like Barbados, was considered a high middle income country, Grosvenor said that country’s options for recovery financing would be constrained because it was not considered eligible for overseas development assistance.

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