Families across Barbados are being called upon to help vulnerable families in society through various means, including the provision of time and guidance.
This call is coming from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who told the nation on Thursday night during her address that 650 families were identified by the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs as being most vulnerable in this country.
“It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a nation to save a family. Today, I appeal to Barbadians who have in them the spirit of generosity and the spirit of wanting to give back knowing this country has been good to many of us.
Ms. Mottley explained that the 650 families would be the focus of Government’s programme with respect to building social capital.
But, she stressed, Government’s help was not enough to stabilize the families alone. “We need other people who will give not just money, but time and guidance and nurture, to be able to move persons from the bowels of poverty and vulnerability to where they can give back to this country,” she said.
The Prime Minister called on families who wanted to volunteer to help Government raise the 650 families from vulnerability to independence to interdependence to make contact with the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs. “This is our nation; these are our families,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, Ms. Mottley also gave the assurance that Government was working to ensure that it could provide affordable housing for Barbadians through the National Housing Corporation and private sector.
She explained that Government put out a tender for new house designs, having recognized that the houses that were being built could not withstand a category two or three hurricane.
“The tender opening would allow us to settle on new designs, particularly for low income housing. Those who can afford it will hire the architects and the engineers, but I am talking about those at the very bottom of our society, for whom affordable and accessible housing is critical,” she said, noting that the designs were now being analyzed before an aggressive programme got under way.