Hurricane Elsa Relief Drive A Success

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Several non-governmental organisations are in a better position to assist those persons impacted by Hurricane Elsa.

Today, the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, and the Third Sector, presented them with supplies collected through Government’s Hurricane Elsa Drive.

The joint hurricane relief appeal was launched by the Labour Ministry earlier this month, shortly after the passage of the Category 1 weather system.

Toiletries, personal hygiene items and food stuff were among the items officially handed over during a brief ceremony this morning, at the Barbados Red Cross Headquarters in Warrens.

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, praised all who gave to the worthy cause, especially the Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, which spearheaded the main appeal.

“I want to assure you all that those recipients are going to be proud to know that ‘someone remembered me’…I want to say thank you all on behalf of the Government and People of Barbados for coming together in this collaborative way to make the difference in the lives of others,” she stated.

Ms. Forde added that over 100 persons had been displaced as a result of Elsa, among them the disabled and children. She also expressed the view that she would like to see the partnership blossom beyond the relief effort.

Labour Minister, Colin Jordan, said he was pleased with the response from the public, and encouraged persons to continue to lend support to others where possible.

“What we’ve seen in response to our appeal is a demonstration of the heart of Barbadians to turn up, to give, to do whatever they can to address the plight of their fellow citizens.

“We reached out to the service clubs and [they] responded. Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimists, and we reached out to the [Barbados Association of Non- Governmental Organisations]. We also reached out to some faith-based organisations…the Hub of the Roman Catholic Church, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the Anglican Church,” Mr. Jordan disclosed.

While thanking the Salvation Army for readily agreeing and also putting their facilities at the disposal of this effort, he added the initiative was a demonstration of the benefits of collaboration at all levels.

Minister Jordan further encouraged like-minded Barbadians to get involved with various organisations which offer assistance to those in need.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Gabrielle Springer, hailed the appeal as a success. She said: “We’re really happy and we’re thankful for each of you and the work that you did in contributing to this very successful exercise.”

The NGOs which will benefit from today’s donation are: the HIV/AIDS Food Bank, the National Disabilities Unit, Jabez House, the Shelter for Battered Women, families under the Strengthening Human and Social Development Programme, the Clyde Gollop Shelter for Homeless Men, the Soroptimist Village, and Advocates Against Domestic Abuse.

The Barbados Workers’ Union College, the Sons of God Apostolic Church, the Nazarene Church in Foursquare, St. Philip, and Codrington College will also receive supplies.