With only 29 more days to go before the official start of We Gatherin’ 2020, the organizing committee says response from Barbadians in the Diaspora has been tremendous, and now they are hoping to fuel the same spirit among the local populace.
Coordinator of We Gatherin’ 2020 Selma Greene told the media that those in the Diaspora were purposely targeted first.
“We have gone into the United Kingdom market, as well as in the United States – to New York and Fort Lauderdale – to engage people living there, and the response has been excellent. There has been tremendous support, because people are keen to come home,” she said.
Greene added that many of the Barbadians living overseas were willing to give back to institutions to which they belonged when they resided here.
“They have strong ties to the schools they attended and youth organizations they belonged to and they are very willing to give to those organizations. And throughout 2020, we will be populating our website with the needs of those institutions, so they can get an idea of what they need and respond to them. As part of the philanthropic effort, we will be focusing on the hospitals of Barbados and people are willing to give to those institutions as well,” she said.
Greene said Invest Barbados was on board with We Gatherin’ to assist those who wanted to invest in the country as part of the initiative, and the Parish Organizing Committees would direct people to the needs of specific parishes in terms of investment projects.
“Apart from organizing events in the parishes, the Parish Organizing Committees will highlight investment projects in their communities. This information will be on our website, but Invest Barbados will also be involved in building up the portfolio and driving that investment. So, people in the Diaspora who want to invest or give back can come through the unit and we can direct them to the different committees.”
She added there were four specific times of the year that activities surrounding the exercise would give added incentive for everyone to get involved.
“The first thing you will want to do is come during the month celebrating your parish. The second one would be Crop Over, which we are planning to take upscale for 2020. Then there will be more celebrations come Independence, and to conclude, there will be a Christmas Extravaganza in Queen’s Park on December 25. We have tasked the Parish Organizing Committees to put on events that are iconic to the specific parishes so, as you move around, your experiences in each parish should be different,” she explained.
Her comments came after the Independence Day parade on Saturday which highlighted the different months the various parishes would take the spotlight and the themes associated with each one. The official jingle was also launched as part of the proceedings, and Government is about to launch an intense campaign using all media sources to get Barbadians fully on board with the proceedings.
The first event for We Gatherin’ 2020 is Gather by the Bay on New Year’s Day, January 1, at River Bay in St. Lucy.