The University of the West Indies (UWI) was aglow with candles, as students and members of staff gathered to commemorate the lives lost in Haiti throughout the years.
The procession which began at the Leslie Robinson Building, encircled the Cave Hill campus and finished at the Errol Barrow Centre of Creative Imagination (EBCCI).
Strategically held on All Souls Day, which honours those who have passed, the group whilst holding their candles sang and dance as they reached the EBCCI.
Organiser of the event, Yanique Hume, revealed that the campus will be holding three weeks of events which highlight the culture of the country.
“UWI has embarked on a series of activities to help raise a greater awareness about Haiti and to stimulate relief efforts that would hopefully towards sustained collective action and change,” the cultural studies lecturer told Barbados TODAY.
On the grounds of the EBCCI, Hume held a traditional memorial ceremony for those Haitian ancestors.
“It is a really important time to bring to recognition, to bring to memory those that departed,” she said. The UWI lecture revealed that the vigil throughout the campus, was also representative of the university allegiance with its Haitian brothers and sisters.
Also in attendance, Principal of the University of West Indies Cave Hill campus, Eudine Barriteau shared that Haiti who celebrated 212 years of independence this January, stood as a beacon for the independence throughout the Caribbean.
“Haiti was an independent country three years before the slave trade, and thirty years before the British abolished slavery, so the significance of the Haitian people and their resilience and survival and their triumph in the face of all adversity, whether political or natural is something that all celebrate and we stand with them,” said Barriteau.
As Haiti was completely flattened at the whims of Hurricane Matthew, the University has joined with organizations such as the Lambi Fund to assist locals in affected to communities. The proceeds gathered from the lighting ceremony, will also be donated to Haitian relief efforts.