Barbadians have been urged to donate to a massive relief effort in aid of hurricane-ravaged Bahamian islands during a seven-hour telethon on Sunday.
Minister of Information Senator Lucille Moe made an appeal to pledge whatever monetary donations they can afford during a national telethon entitled, Rise Again Bahamas Mediathon, to air from the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s studios from 3 to 10 p.m.
An account created by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, called the CDEMA Barbados Bahamas Relief Fund has been set up at CIBC First Caribbean to receive pledge donations.
“Clearly this allows for us to know that the money is then going to the people of the Bahamas in order to assist in the recovery effort,” the senator told journalists at a media launch of the telethon at Government Headquarters.
Telephones lines will be opened at CBC to take pledges during the telethon which is to broadcast on television and radio and streamed online. In addition to the bank account, a digital payment platform will be set up to receive donations.
“We must support our fellow CARICOM member state of the Bahamas,” declared Ambassador to CARICOM David Commissiong.
“Two years ago it was Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda. Now it is the Bahamas. Next month it could be someone else. Perish the thought, some year or month, it may very well be Barbados.
“But the point is that we must develop a way of thinking in the Caribbean where if something touches one, it touches all.
“Where damage is done to one, we are not going to leave anyone country alone to have to face an emergency on its own resources and having to rebuild simply by itself.
“No! Our mindset must be that we recognise our brothers and sisters. We will be our brothers and sisters’ keepers and we will come to each other’s assistance. This is what Sunday’s telethon is all about.
“We know things are difficult for many Barbadians, but, we have to acknowledge that right now, today, we are so much more fortunate than the people of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“They are now grappling with total destruction of homes and everything they have worked their entire lives to acquire.”
Sunday’s telethon is set to feature numerous inspirational speakers, entertainers, spiritual leaders, CARICOM leaders and television pictures from Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s tour of the Bahamas.
CDEMA’s Planning and Business Development Manager, Andria Grosvenor, stressed that only financial assistance was being accepted because the delivery of physical items is not practical. She pointed out the money would go a long way to repairing the catastrophic damage caused by the slow-moving monster hurricane which has taken at least 30 lives.
Grosvenor said: “The Regional Response Mechanism, managed by CDEMA, works. It worked for Irma and Maria, and there was no one in the international community that could have gotten to Dominica faster than this region.
“We were unable to give sustained support because we are not as well-resourced as many international actors. But, the people of the region, within their means did quite a bit.
“Therefore the assistance provided through the telethon would serve to support the Bahamas in this way.
Joining the media launch, religious leaders, including Major Darryl Moore of the Barbados Christian Council, and Reverend Dr Nigel Taylor urged churches and other places of worship to collect offerings and prayers in support of the Bahamian people.