DUO passionate about giving back to community
by Donna Sealy
On the face of it, Ronald Marshall and Wayne Daniel appear to be average guys.
When you get them started on the Oistins Charitable Organisation of Barbados, or OCOB, as they call it, that’s a different story.
All the passion and vigour about the need to, and importance of, giving back to the community resonates in their voices and it is hard not to see their plans.
For Marshall, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, it might be safe to say its embedded in every sinew of his body.
Just ask him a question about OCOB.
To kick start their charity, OCOB is organising an Independence Community Festival to be held at Deighton Griffith Secondary School.
It will be held on Independence Day and gets going from 9 a.m. and should end around 10:30 p.m. In addition to cricket, there will be football matches, dominoes, and a kids zone.
Both men emphasised that OCOB was “a benevolent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation devoid of all partisan politics” which would be “heavily involved in all cultural, social, religious, educational and sporting activities” across the country, the region and beyond.
In an interview at Barbados TODAY’s Warrens, St. Michael offices, the two men said their intention was to work with other organisations, assist the elderly and indigent and adopt bus shelters, among other things.
They also want to enlist former students of both primary and secondary schools in a meaningful way and get them to contribute $10 and $20 respectively which would be used for the purchase of books and to help with other necessities.
“We want them to know there is this charity existing in Barbados today that they can call upon for help at some point in time. Let’s say a school wants bats and balls for the kids, we’d be willing to donate stuff like that to them.
“We also want to make Barbados the cleanest place on the planet. We will work with other groups, we will have volunteer teams, to clean up our neighbourhoods first then we’re going to spread our wings. Digicel is one of our major sponsors. We’re also sponsored by the Community Independence Secretariat, which has given us [some items],” said Marshall.
Daniel added: “Also, for Christmas we’re planning to feed at least 100 to 150 people. We’re waiting until we’re finished with this project to work on that. What we’re going to do is have a barrel for foodstuff and we’re going to ask the cricketers and footballers we have direct contact with, to bring a canned food item.”
The men emphasised that OCOB was “a benevolent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation devoid of all partisan politics” which would be “heavily involved in all cultural, social, religious, educational and sporting activities” across the country, the region and beyond.
Marshall explained the charity “was conceived as a unique, multifaceted organisation with a holistic view of culture designed to further cementing Barbados’ position as an irresistibly desired destination on the world stage”.
This is also outlined in their vision statement.
“The name, OCOB, we believe, reflects who we are and what our mission is trying to accomplish. The Oistins community will be the active conduit, through which will flow the cultural waters that ultimately leads to a better Barbados. As long as Barbados exits we expect OCOB to exist, hence our motto: OCOB Forever; Barbados Forevermore!”
So serious are the men about the charity that Marshall is bent on not relying on the public purse for funds.
“I told Mr. [John] Boyce, I’m willing to donate two acres of land to build the organisation’s headquarters, a community centre and a senior citizens centre but we have to get Town and Country Planning permission to cut the two acres off of four acres that I own in Gibbons.
“He asked me how I’m going to finance these things. I said we will find international sources; we will go to the UN, USAID, we will even write the Bill Gates Foundation and we will also raise funds in Barbados by ourselves so that we would not have favours from politicians. We want to help communities. I’m also talking to someone in Grenada to set up something similar to teach people how to raise funds in the community,” he said.
The OCOB chairman said there really was no limit to what the charity could do.
“Let us get involved in community development and I figured the best way to do it is through a charity, because the charity can have a football team, it can have a domino team, asocial dance club, a co-op. We have some expansionist views on what we want to do for our communities and that’s why we choose the avenue of a charity as opposed to a sports club, or a social club,” he elaborated.
Daniel said that trustees live in the Oistins area and some can be found in the Gazebo on the periphery of the Bay Garden slamming dominoes daily.
This weekend Barbadians should be able to see them putting their plans into action as they head north to help clean up a health institution. [email protected]