Philanthropy ‘a useful tool’
THE REGION IS LAGGING considerably in utilising philanthropy as a development tool. Richard Jones, consultant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, made this point last Friday during the inaugural Barbados Diaspora Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. He was making a presentation on the Better Barbados Foundation during a session on Philanthropy: Expanding The Horizons For Overseas Barbadians And Friends of Barbados. “Jamaica can be considered one of the leaders in the region and Barbados has seen some movement in the thinking of a few private companies, [non-governmental organisations] and individuals to establish proactive structures for charitable giving,” he said.
Jones said there needs to be a partnership between Government and non-governmental actors to work towards the equitable social development of the country. He stressed that “no government has the capacity to meet all the needs of its citizens all the time”. The initiative, which was first announced by Prime Minister David Thompson in 2008, was intended to help strengthen the relationship between Barbadians living abroad and those living here. Jones noted that the Better Barbados Foundation was conceived as a result of the relatively undeveloped environment for philanthropy in the island.
“It was felt that [it] could serve as an intermediary to foster much higher levels of giving at the national and international level to the benefit of a number of worthwhile developmental projects,” the consultant said. The Better Barbados Foundation, as envisaged, will serve to further develop philanthropic giving within the island, moving charitable giving from largely altruistic activities to structured ones that provide determined benefits for both donor and the targeted beneficiary,” Jones noted. (NB)