Charitable organizations across Barbados continue to see a rise in the number families in need of assistance. After receiving a donation of food hampers from the Barbados Muslim Association (BMA) at the Sobers Lane, City Mosque, a few of these groups told the media this morning about the demand they were seeing to meet the needs of individuals who found it difficult to feed or cloth themselves.
Following up on the launch of its drive to help the needy in the neighbourhood last April, the BMA presented food baskets to the Justices Of The Peace Association Inc. and the Barbados Vagrant And Homeless Society (BVHS) to assist the less fortunate. According to president Dr Abdul Mohamed, the Islamic faith has always placed great emphasis on ensuring ta person was always good and helpful to his neighbour.
In view of this, and in light of the trying economic times the country was facing, Mohamed said, the Muslim community was continuing to play its part by giving back to the most vulnerable in society.
“A lot of our members are actually traditional salesmen in the community and they actually report back to us the dire economic situations and circumstances for people in our community. It is from that feedback that we recognized what is going on out there and decided to help in a small way, as best as we can, those in need,” he explained.
Justices Of The Peace Association president Demora Kirton said her group –– established to provide training for JPs that they might be better equipped to play their role in and for Barbados –– through its community outreach programme was meeting the needs of the impoverished. That is why, Kirton said, she was delighted to report the association had found no difficulty in sourcing food or clothing for its target audience.
“The age range we expected initially was with retired persons, but now there are more and more young women and men. We check these people out carefully and if we believe that they can work to help themselves we try to find work for them. But the ones, especially with mental health issues, we try to help them a lot because they can’t function like other people,” Kirton explained.
BVHS president Kemar Saffrey indicated that people were always coming to the society’s office, not only seeking shelter, but also in search of groceries and clothing.
“Then there were persons who were not homeless, but had no food to eat,” he also pointed out.
“These hampers would go towards our daily breakfast programme. Obviously, in our case, we don’t give large quantities of items at any one time; so clients . . . and then they don’t have anywhere to store them.
“We do help persons from the Clyde Gollop Shelter; so some of them would come for items to cook . . . ,” Saffrey said.
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