Fisherman, Everton Brathwaite is doing his part to assist the vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. (BGIS)

“A little goes a long way … and every little bit counts.”

Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, Cynthia Forde, made the comment on Friday to fisherman Everton Brathwaite at the Bridgetown Fish Market, after he returned from a nine-day fishing trip with fish he pledged to donate to the vulnerable in society affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Minister Forde was on hand to welcome him and his three-man crew back to the island.

Ms. Forde stated: “Even if you could only bring in 10 little fish … never mind people might think that is a one-off, the one-off is meaning that … whenever this fish is delivered, families will receive fish from this project.”

She said the fish would add to the nutrition content of food packages prepared by the Ministry, and help to sustain those who received the packages, which include children who normally rely on school meals.

Ms. Forde said as a result of the efforts of the Ministry, and those who had contributed, parents can have a sense of comfort knowing “my child has gone to sleep with something in its stomach”.

“I want to say how really happy I am.…  And your effort and that of your team of other fisherfolk and fishermen have really been an exemplary aspect of living in Barbados, especially now that we are going through all of these challenges as a result of COVID-19, as well as a result of the economic situation,” Minister Forde said.

Minister Cynthia Forde (3rd right) and the crew of P139 Natalie pose with a yellowfin tuna, which was part of their catch. (B.Hinds/BGIS)

Expressing pleasure that the Ministry would be the recipient of this ‘wonderful gesture’, from the fishing community in Barbados, she added that the work of people in agriculture and fisheries is “very important” in providing food for the people of Barbados.

Minister Forde insisted that Mr. Brathwaite tell his fellowmen “how really proud we are of them and this valiant effort that shows that Barbados has people in it still, who are excellent benefactors”.

Noting the appeal from Government to the public for assistance during this period to help the most vulnerable in society had received a positive response, Ms. Forde highlighted that the Ministry had also received donations of local produce from farmers, and pork from the Pig Farmers’ Association.

She also commended the ‘excellent’ staff of the Ministry for their efforts to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in society at this time.

An official handing over of the pledged fish is expected to take place next week.

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