Cable & Wireless, the parent company of Flow Barbados, today launched the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation with seed funding of BDS$1 million to help support humanitarian efforts across the region following the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
And it’s not stopping there. The telecommunications giant has pledged to tap further support from its partners, suppliers and customers to secure funding for the charitable foundation.
Customers can participate in “ a text to donate campaign” and pledge BDS$1 donation to aid the relief effort to the foundation by texting GIVE to Short Code 2300.
While the company’s 7,000 employees will be given an opportunity to play their part by signing on to an internal payroll giving scheme that provides for donations to be deducted from their salaries.
Director of Communications and Stakeholder Management at Flow Barbados, Marilyn Sealy told Barbados Today that the foundation will serve as a fund-raising hub, where the monies raised would be directed to local, regional and international agencies to execute projects in countries affected by the recent super storms.
She noted that since the passage of Irma earlier this month, Cable & Wireless had launched some relief efforts, which included deployment of engineers, and humanitarian aid drops to affected countries.
Sealy said the company was however forced to step up its game after the rapid development of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.
The telecommunications company did not escape the fury of the powerful systems but Sealy assured it was holding its own.
“I must say that our network withstood for the most part a heavy beating from Irma in the Turks and Caicos Islands and other impacted markets, but we were able to stand our ground. We would have lost a couple cell towers, but for the most part our infra structure held up.”
With respect to Dominica, which has been virtually cut off after the passage of Hurricane Maria on Monday, Sealy said that the Category 5 system was unexpected.
She told Barbados TODAY that all communications were down on Dominica and the immediate priority was to send in a specialty team of engineers and technicians to get the system up and running in the shortest possible time.
“Dominica is obviously a matter of concern for us at Cable & Wireless. As I speak a team of technicians is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency in Dominica to restore the system,” Sealy said.
Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity with the people of the region, Chief Executive Officer of Cable & Wireless Communications, John Reid said:
“ We stand shoulder to shoulder with those impacted during this severe hurricane season. The Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation is our deep, long term commitment to drive much needed funding into markets requiring relief to enable rebuilding efforts and the return to the vibrancy that represents the Caribbean culture, as well as in the long term, enable further development opportunities. Together with our employees, partners and customers we will continue to make a difference in the markets we are proud to serve.”