Women Assume Major Role in Red Cross
Article by Barbados Today Traffic Published on July 22, 2021
For the first time in its history, the Barbados Red Cross Society (BRCS) has a female Director-General at its helm. The long-anticipated appointment of Danielle Toppin to the role fills the space left by the untimely passing of the organisation’s late Director-General, Edmond Bradshaw in 2017.
Coincidentally, in another first, the Board is now comprised predominantly of women, with a new female Vice-President, Tempu Nefertari. Along with Nefertari, the other Board members are Winston Waithe (President), Samantha Hazlewood-Ermay (Treasurer), Fabianna Alexander, Heather Farrell-Clarke, Taitu Heron, Tremaine Rouse (Youth Director) and Roger Deane.
They all attended a recent one-day induction session to ensure that all members understand the role, culture and operations of the Barbados Red Cross. The BRCS, an approved member of the International Committee of the Red Cross and full member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, with over 100 local members, volunteers and supporters. Over the past year, with a
mandate to build local and community resilience, the BRCS has supported a number of initiatives to support vulnerable persons in the community. These include the Meals on Wheels service which serves over 150 beneficiaries, and the distribution of cash grants to over 50 persons in partnership with the Household Mitigation Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office.
It also provided assistance to unregistered immigrants, donations of PPEs, hand sanitisers and temperature guns to schools, communities and other NGOs, supermarket vouchers to 375 households and offered psycho-social support and counselling to persons directly affected by the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the wake of Hurricane Elsa, the National Society heightened its recovery efforts, providing hygiene, kitchen and cleaning kits to over 100 households, positioning volunteers in Category 1 shelters to provide First Aid support (in association with the Ministry of Education and Disaster Emergency Management), distributing tarpaulins and working with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affair
s in the distribution of clothing, and other items donated to help affected families.
On her recent appointment, the new Director-General stated: “I am honoured to be a part of a global movement with such a strong humanitarian focus and welcome the opportunity to serve the Barbados Red Cross Society and guide its direction.” She continued: “The past year has been extremely demanding and I continue to be impressed by the dedication and commitment of the staff and volunteer base. We seek to increase our work with partners locally and internationally and will continue to educate and shape the social landscape. This way, we are able to engage local communities to build their resilience so they can best respond to disasters and to support themselves in time of need.”
For more information on the Barbados Red Cross Society or how to become a volunteer, visit www.barbadosredcrosws.com or tel: 417 2727. The Society can also be found on Facebook and Instagram at Barbados Red