Barbadians who are out of work have a lifeline and will be able to access a basket of food and goods as COVID-19 Essentials launches.
The COVID-19 Essentials team comprises a group of local individuals with a wealth of experience in managing charities, projects, disaster relief initiatives, purchasing and logistics. The initial seed funding of BDS$100 000 was provided by Bjorn Bjerkhamn and his family. In making the presentation Mr. Bjerkhamn explained the reason for supporting the initiative, “Barbados has been my home since I was a boy and I have seen her ride many a wave, but what is happening now is unprecedented and the reality is that many will be, and some already are, impacted by lay-offs and job losses.” He added, “Many who have had a sense of security their whole lives may now find themselves struggling and many businesses may find it hard to survive, so my family wants to do all we can to help those who will be impacted and we felt this organization offered this opportunity.”
Monique Archer, Chairperson, COVID-19 Essentials explained, “There are several strong organizations who have come together to look after the basic needs of Barbadians, including the Government of Barbados who has launched the ‘Adopt a Family’ initiative. This has gained traction with support from many organizations.” She added, “We see our programme as complementing Government’s work ensuring the most vulnerable will be able to survive during these times. We recognized that this could potentially be the first time Barbadians will be laid off and lose jobs in such large numbers as a result of COVID-19, so we have focused on assisting those who are about to go through very tough times.”