A social media page is providing a port in a storm for retrenched workers looking for assistance with job opportunities or just seeking advice on how to set up businesses.
The Bajan Empowerment Project (BEP) Facebook page was created to assist Temporarily Displaced Workers (TDW) with retraining, re-employment and advice according to one of BEP’s founding members, former head of the Barbados Water Authority’s rapid response and communication department,
Haigh said the project, which was founded on October 20, 2018, was being operated free of charge by professionals willing to give their time to assist in the rebuilding of the country, by helping TDWs retool.
“Even now I have been retrenched, and the funny thing about the story is when I set that up I truly had no idea that I would have been retrenched. So I have a better understanding now I am on this side to help. The thing is since my retrenchment, of course I have to put on the oxygen mask first and I am in the process of doing that for myself because you can’t help others if you are not in the position to help yourself.”
The communications specialist said there is a need for more professionals to come on board and offer their services, especially as it relates to teaching persons how to build a company and what they need to market it.
“There are endless possibilities for persons who have been temporarily displaced. The thing is that they are not alone and the whole idea of the group is to bring them together and work it out as best as we possibly can and knowing that Government cannot do all.
Haigh said the page has been understandingly active since it was started. She explained that at the beginning of the year, a message, which was sent to members of the page, asking them to hold on to hope and be strong, attracted thousands of viewers.
“And I still think that we need to give everybody the hope of building a life better than it was before. Persons like myself who are sole breadwinners and you know we have children, it is hard. It is hard hearing the news.
Haigh said there was also need for psychologists to join the page, since accepting a job loss was not always easy for individuals to process.
“Particularly for middle-aged women who may be going through menopause, balancing that news, and having that hormonal imbalance is going to be hard. We know that sometimes these things could lead to depression, may lead young women to prostitution or persons to contemplate suicide, depending on how bad the situation is, and how fast you can get back on your feet. So it is not only about bringing the group together and seeing what businesses can be started up, psychologically you may need some help”.