We Gatherin’ Barbados, which sought to encourage Barbadians living abroad to return home to participate in a year-long celebration, will be making a comeback after being postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Mia Mottley said her administration was keen on hosting the homecoming initiative as she noted the overwhelming support and interest shown during the initial weeks of 2020 before the pandemic curtailed the plans.
“Cabinet will at some point look at a new date, a new year, for We Gatherin’ because we believe that the excitement which it generated in the first 10 weeks in the year portended for extraordinary engagement and gathering of the families,” she announced during St Michael Speaks at the Springer Memorial Secondary School on Wednesday evening.
“The fact that it was disrupted will probably make when we do it again even sweeter because there is nothing like celebrating a journey that was difficult to navigate.”
The Prime Minister reiterated that it was the Government’s intention to harness the skillsets of Barbadians and their descendants from across the diaspora, given the island’s low birth rate and small economy.
“If we are not having enough people here to carry the weight of lifting this society and if we are going to face, as has been predicted by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, that one in every two Barbadians will be over the age of 65 by the year 2050, we do not have enough time to do it the normal, natural way,” she said.
“Therefore, the first thing we must do is issue a clarion call to Bajans and the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Bajans wherever they are.”
A range of activities had been planned for We Gatherin’ in 2020 – designated as the year for Barbadians and those who love the country to come home, reconnect with family and friends, and invest in the rebuilding and development of the island.
Various events were to be held in each of the island’s 11 parishes, starting in the north and moving southward every month, allowing each parish to showcase its icons, food, social life and what made it unique. An elaborate Christmas extravaganza had been planned as the climax of the initiative. (SB)