Non-governmental organizations are being called upon to pool their resources and put all measures in place to ensure that Barbados’vulnerable community does not suffer as a result of the prevailing economic crisis.
This call came from veteran social worker and head of the Barbados Family Planning Association George Griffith who indicated in a Press release that while it should be expected that the prevailing economic crisis would intensify the vulnerability of a wide cross section of marginalized Barbadians, the NGO sector was a vital part of the response.
He pointed out that the referred group included the unemployed, soon to be unemployed, underemployed, senior citizens who are poverty-stricken, the disabled and persons currently enduring a range of chronic illnesses, homeless persons, those existing in substandard housing, and finally that mass of men, women and youth who are physically and psychologically dependent on illegal drugs of one kind or another.
“We must be aware by now that the social fabric of our society is under threat and can be protected by a series of preventative and remedial measures, strategically planned and executed, if this country is to avoid any further pain, suffering and potential mayhem. significantly less financial and other resources to prevent than to treat and correct. We the social services providers have a sacred duty to protect the most vulnerable citizens and residents from the social and economic devastation which now threatens,” he said.
On that note, the veteran social worker urged the NGO community of Barbados to ensure that no effort was spared in seeking to alleviate the suffering of those voiceless brothers and sisters for whom poverty, unemployment, age, ill health and hopelessness was fast becoming an overpowering challenge.
“Let us give now without counting the cost,” he said.
He also noted that he believed that the enthusiasm of existing social service providers and agencies were not only demotivated but that they were also not being prepared for the significant increase in demand for services which was inevitable. “Thankfully there exists in Barbados a number of very credible non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the capacity and experience necessary for the tasks which lay ahead.
These NGOs have demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency desperately needed to supplement and even enhance Government’s efforts. “The continued cutting or reduction in Government financial and other resources to this group would be a grave error since we know that a dollar invested in this sector has traditionally gone much further than the same dollar spent in the public sector,” Griffith said.