Over seven hours of contributions from hundreds of Barbadians amassed nearly half a million Barbados dollars to go towards the restoration of the Hurricane-battered Bahamian islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
With three days to prepare, officials, under the instruction of Prime Minister Mia Mottley assembled a large team of media workers, entertainers, religious leaders, CARICOM heads of Government and influencers to execute what has been described as a very successful mediathon.
From 3’clock Sunday afternoon at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s Pine, St Michael studios, contribution pledges started pouring in via the telephone lines.
Shortly afterward, Barbadians started entering CBC’s complex to deliver their contributions in person.
Meanwhile, numerous influential figures, including CARICOM’s Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque, Acting Prime Minister George Payne and Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM David Commissiong expressed their sympathy to the Bahamian people and encouraged citizens to give generously.
Regional leaders including St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and his Antiguan counterpart, Gaston Browne expressed support for the telethon as their countries along with all other Eastern Caribbean territories pledged the US $100,000 to the efforts.
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and the Barbados Light and Power also made notable contributions of $20,000 each.
As the evening wore on, the CBC’s audience along with viewers and radio listeners along with those joining via social media channels were treated to emotional performances from local artistes including Terencia TC Coward, Natalie Natahlee Burke, Paula Hinds, Peter Ram Wiggins, Damian Marvay, Geoffrey Biggie Irie Cordle.
A large contingent of Bahamian students from the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill campus sat among the audience and shared some of their own experiences of waiting for news to emerge from the affected islands from their families.
At the end of Tuesday night, just after 10 p.m., a total of $440,956.41 had been raised and this was applauded by Ambassador Commissiong as a huge victory for the Bahamian people.