Thirty-one entertainment groups have come together to form the group Barbados Cares in an effort to raise money for storm-ravaged Dominica.
The group has planned three events from September 25 to 27 with proceeds to go towards the fund. The events include a cooler fete, a cooler cruise and a fun walk/run/ride.
Addressing the media at a press conference earlier today at Copacabana, Bay Street, St Michael, Craig Gun-Munro of Mixed Nutz said the plan was to “raise as much money as possible to assist our Dominican neighbours”.
“We are just getting started and we have a long way to go. We plan to raise as much money as we can for Dominica. All of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards the cause,” he assured.
Gun-Munro said persons who are unable to attend any of the events can make monetary contributions at the Royal Bank of Canada, account number 5306311.
He added that in the interim, the focus was on supplying 12 water tanks to assist areas that are in dire need.
“What we can confirm one of the urgent needs that they have communicated to us is the need for 1000 gallon water tanks. Obviously a lot of these communities are still without running water. We have been speaking to the general manager at the local water company and we have actually pledged them with funds to provide 12 of these water tanks at a cost of around US $9,000,” he explained.
Damien Sorhaindo of the Dominica Association of Barbados re-emphasized the urgent need for the water
tanks, adding that the lack of water has already affected the reopening of schools.
“In terms of the water tanks, this is something that we were able to raise enough funds for before the event even starts. This is something that we could actually contribute. But the majority of the funds will obviously come post events. We have been in contact with the water authority officials down there and this is something that they really need, because schools are due to open back very soon. It actually had to be pushed back a few times because they need water tanks,” Sorhaindo said.
Gun-Munro promised that all of the details surrounding the funds raised and the manner in which the money is spent, will be made public.
“We are going to try to be as transparent as we can in terms of letting everyone know where the money is going and so on. Our initial intention was to raise funds for a specific project such as rebuilding a school, health centre or so on.
“We have been constantly discussing with the disaster officials on the ground in Dominica and they are still carrying out their initial investigations to see who needs what, so it’s a little too early to identify the project that we want to support. But we are going to continue doing work with them to pinpoint who we will be supporting and in what way,” he added.
He also used the opportunity to thank corporate Barbados for their support thus far.
“The response so far to what we are trying to do here has been amazing. Many individuals are willing to give of their time, money and efforts to assist, and to them we express our sincere gratitude.”
Paul Williams of Esquire Entertainment said he was driven to be part of the initiative after he watched a video of the devastation in Dominica.
“I do not know what it is to wake up and realize that 800 of my countrymen are homeless, or that 11 of them are dead or that 23 of them are missing. It is difficult to wake up to that reality everyday, and when you ask the question what is it that you can do, you realize that you have a certain privilege that you can contribute to use whatever you have to help the people of Dominica,” Williams said.
Richard Haynes of Baje International also thanked everyone for getting on board.
“Currently there is a wealth of support from corporate Barbados. The response has been amazing. I want to thank the suppliers who have offset the cost for the events, so every cent that comes in now we can donate to Dominica.”