The founder of a social media page providing hope and support for retrenched workers is asking women who were sent home not to sell themselves short, or tolerate abusive relationships because they want money.
Joy-Ann Haigh, a former head of the Barbados Water Authority’s rapid response and communication department who founded the Bajan Empowerment Project (BEP) Facebook page, is encouraging women, especially those heading households, not to run into the arms of people who may not have their best interests at heart.
She said women who have been retrenched should seek assistance from the Welfare Department and other non-governmental organisations.
“They have to be very careful because they are at a vulnerable stage now and I know you can feel desperate. But think twice before you do whatever you do. There are agencies out there that can help. It is also best to go to family and close friends.
“There is going to be an element out there that would want to take advantage, especially of younger girls who are seeking to continue their way of life. They may have a car to pay for and might find themselves getting into relationships that are abusive,” Haigh said.
The communications specialist who was retrenched last year, made the appeal as she shared her personal experience as it relates to being on the breadline, at a meeting hosted at the Business & Professional Women’s Club of Barbados, at Pelican Village, last evening.
She said that though being unemployed was one of the most difficult pills to swallow, it was important for those who were victims of the retrenchment programme, to make critical decisions as soon as they receive their walking papers.
Haigh advised that persons who have been sent home must access counseling, in addition to speaking to financial institutions about options to restructure their personal finances, including mortgages and loans.
“I am appealing to companies that can offer that service, to offer them for free to retrenched workers. Or even private people can even offer their services to the workers. Whatever money they have at the time they need it to last.
“Maybe you would want to set up a business, but you still have to pay your light and water
and buy food. Not everybody knows how to manage his or her finances,” she said.