As Barbadians come together with friends and families to celebrate the Christmas season, Prime Minister Mia Mottley is urging retrenched public sector workers not to lose hope.
At the same time, Mottley has announced that come 2020 Barbadians could be joining in a grand Christmas celebration, which would involve Barbadians home and abroad.
In her Christmas message the Prime Minister urged citizens to remember the less fortunate, and to take this time to reflect, celebrate and honour religious and cultural traditions.
“We must remind ourselves every day how blessed we are as we thank God for each other and for the blessings we have received over this past year,” said Mottley.
“We ourselves, even with the challenges that beset us as a nation and as individuals, are encouraged to listen for and to receive good news with acceptance and a determination to turn it to our advantage,” she said.
Pointing out that many of the decisions that her administration took over the past six months “seemed harsh and unpleasant”, Mottley said they were “absolutely essential” for the country’s good health.
“I wish especially to address those who are directly affected, in particular those public officers who were identified over the past three months, for separation from the public service. Very often in life the burden of protecting the well-being of the majority falls on the shoulders of a minority. It may seem to you now that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but I give you my assurance that your sacrifices shall not be in vain.
“Our country shall forever owe you a debt of gratitude. I want you to make use of the opportunities that have been offered to you whether it is retraining for new job prospects or starting your own businesses or even accessing land because we are going to make sure that we create a framework in which you can support yourselves and your families,” said Mottley.
The Prime Minister said it was her intention to transform Barbados into a place of choice to live, work, recreate and to retire, while acknowledging traditions and embracing change.
“It is with that in mind that those Barbadians, those born here or those with Barbadian roots, have been invited by our Government to return home in 2020 for The Gathering 2020,” she said.
“We have designated it so, because we believe that this is an opportunity for all Barbadians, parish by parish, to be able to come home and to be able to embrace their roots but at the same time, to help us refine a more perfect vision for the Barbados that we want for ourselves and our children and our grandchildren. Parish by parish, we will embrace our people and we will showcase through traditional sports, music, food, other social activities, as well as marrying the opportunities for business, a Barbados that will make us all proud and from which we will determine our future,” she explained.
Pointing to her anticipation of a “vintage Barbadian Christmas event” in the Queen’s Park on Christmas Day, Mottley said the role of every Barbadian was to invite friends and family home for the “momentous” occasion in 2020.