Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has called on Barbadians to help each other in order to eliminate poverty across the island.
She was delivering the feature address during Government’s launch of the One Family Programme yesterday afternoon which aimed at providing aid to many vulnerable families, by getting Barbadians to help each other.
“If the metrics show us that one in every five Barbadians is below the poverty line (according to the World Bank the poverty line globally is $2.15 a day), what does that also tell us? It says that four out of five Barbadians are above the poverty line,” Mottley began.
“If four out of every five is more than one, then it is time to mobilise the army of the four and let the four stand with those soldiers. Christian soldiers, Muslim soldiers and all of the religious institutions stand with all of the clubs and informal groups, because what it will take for us to win is what we already have, but we don’t use it in a singular focus like one family.”
The Prime Minister said this programme was designed to help people and she hoped it gained traction as it is intended to spread from one end of the island to the next. She also believes that Barbadians can help out in smaller ways.
Mottley said: “When you go to the supermarket and you have a little extra money, buy a chicken or two or some hygiene products and adopt a family. Not just for the goods you are going to give them but when you go to their house and you start interacting with them and they have a problem and you can give them a listening ear. That is why I don’t necessarily like impersonal donations because what we want is to partner families because if we do that then that is many hands making light work.”
She concluded: “We have what it takes as a people to eliminate poverty. I ask us therefore to rise to the occasion and let us try. If we are to fail then it is not because we did not try. The parable of the talents comes to mind. God knows we will fall but we will give thanks to God and rise again because life is about perseverance and determination.”
Up 200 families were chosen for the programme by mid-September and the initiative aimed to provide assistance to at least 1 000 vulnerable families.
Social development project manager Nicole Daniel said there was rigorous screening to determine those people for the programme.
“We would have gone through the selection process already where we would have assessed more than 2 000 households across Barbados. These assessments would have included areas in terms of their income, areas in terms of their education, their housing and other needs. Through that assessment we would have been able to select 1 000 of the most vulnerable families and at this stage of the process is where the heart work begins.” (JC)