Government is on a mission to foster better relations between Barbadians at home and those who have returned to the island, after living abroad for many years.
Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, made this declaration during an interactive session on Vision 2020, held for the Barbadian resettlement community at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, recently.
Acknowledging that sometimes there are strained relations between the groups, she disclosed that a programme called Happy to Help is in the works.
“On returning home, they are not always as welcomed as they would like by their fellow Barbadians. One of my missions is to cure this. What we want to do is to talk through what are some of the things we must do because when 2020 opens Barbados must be welcoming to every single Barbadian….
“So, we want to talk through those ideas…to better educate our Barbadians that we can become more welcoming of you,” she said.
Minister Husbands lamented that as a result of that difficulty, the island has not been able to fully benefit from the skill sets of this segment of the population.
“Because of that, we have not been able to take the wealth of experience and expertise that you have developed over the years and translate it into economic and social benefits for the country. We have not established an efficient process to capture your ideas, to be able to set up a system that treats to what you bring, and to convert that idea or opportunity to a meaningful benefit for Barbados and Barbadians.
“Our intention is to set up a system and unit that liaise with all the other agencies and ministries, and to ensure every idea gets attention, and we look, and genuinely work on how we can use it and translate it into a benefit,” the Foreign Trade Minister stressed.
During the session, members of the resettlement community requested easier facilitation with immigration, customs and banking.