Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight. (FP)

The selfless contributions of over 6,000 Barbadians who worked on the frontlines to keep the country safe during the COVID-19 pandemic will be rewarded during the inaugural Humanitarian Awards Ceremony, to be held on National Heroes Day, on Thursday, April 28, at Kensington Oval.

And, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, is encouraging members of the public to watch the historic ceremony, which will begin at 10:00 a.m.  It will be televised via the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, and streamed on various online platforms.

During a virtual press briefing today, Senator Dr. Munro-Knight said: “The Government of Barbados is set to honour thousands of Barbadians who worked and continue to work tirelessly on the frontlines and in support roles during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure the safety and well-being of Barbadian residents and visitors….

“The Government of Barbados is very excited to…have the opportunity to honour ordinary Barbadians for their service.”

The Minister of State said six categories of awards would be given during the two-hour ceremony and she listed them as:

  • The Freedom of Barbados Award – announced last November and being presented to six persons on the COVID-19 Leadership Team in recognition of their indelible service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Honorary Freedom of Barbados Award – to be presented to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), for his global leadership and friendship to Barbados during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Gold Award of Achievement – will be conferred on 60 persons for extraordinary service to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Humanitarian Service Medals – will be given to approximately 700 frontline workers, many of whom provided essential services during the darkest days of the pandemic, and often placed themselves at great risk to their personal health and safety.  These efforts contributed significantly to the mitigation of the community spread of COVID-19.
  • The Humanitarian Lapel Pins – the category with the most recipients, will be awarded to over 5,000 frontline workers, many of whom are in the private sector, who provided 30 days of continuous or accumulated service within the operation area in support of the national response effort between March 2020 and March 2021.
  •  Humanitarian Plaques – will be presented to representatives of the country’s, regional and international agencies and charitable foundations that generously donated supplies and resources to the Government and people of Barbados to assist with the management and control of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley will address the ceremony, and President of Barbados, Her Excellency The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, is expected to present a number of the awards.  Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will be among the specially invited guests.  There will be entertainment by local artistes and the Barbados Police Service Band.

Over 6,000 booklets will be produced by the Cabinet Office, in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation, and they will be distributed as a souvenir.  The booklets will contain messages from Dame Sandra; Prime Minister Mottley; the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros; Minister of Health and Wellness, Ian Gooding-Edghill, and the former Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. The Most Honorable Jeffrey Bostic, as well as the names of this year’s awardees.

Senator Dr. Munro-Knight said a special ‘Park and Ride’ system, to be operated by the Transport Board, would be put in place for awardees and their guests.   Buses will depart Queen’s Park, Bridgetown; National Cultural Foundation Headquarters, West Terrace, St. James; the Wildey Gymnasium, Wildey, St. Michael, and the BTI Car Park, Bridgetown, from 6:30 a.m., at a cost of $7:00, roundtrip.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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