By Orville Williams
Some of the issues that usually restrict the impact of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are unnecessary bureaucracy and lack of transparency. Barbudan Go apparently seeks to avoid those negative stereotypes and, as a result, may be one of the few local and regional organisations that abides by the mantra of being “task-oriented” and “driven by people with a common interest”.
The organisation was founded by Asha Frank, Pethrolynna Isaac and Brandon Walker, who recognised the need for the development and strengthening of Barbudan Civil Society, after witnessing the post-hurricane Irma relief efforts of other NGOs and charities such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), American Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Relief, Ground Truth Solutions and Marine Ecosystem Protected Areas (MEPA) Trust, etc.
Receiving its certificate of incorporation in September 2018, the group is on a mission to operate as an umbrella organisation, giving individuals and small, unregistered informal groups’ access to apply for grants, provide alternative education programmes, strengthen and preserve Barbuda’s history and culture and make Barbuda more prepared for natural disasters.
Some projects that it is currently working include the restoration of Codrington House and a Water Harvesting Initiative – to provide water storage tanks to vulnerable households affected by Hurricane Irma.
It recently completed phase one of the Water Harvesting Initiative – aimed at “providing access to potable water to families who [to date] had limited or no immediate access to potable water since the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017”, according to Founder and Director, Pethrolynna Isaac.
This first phase – sponsored by International Community Foundation (ICF) – she says, “was able to support 26 families by providing them with water tanks, spouting kits and the workmanship needed to install their water-harvesting system.”
Now, the group is preparing for phase two of the initiative, which requires further investment of volunteerism and resources.
Isaac shared that a big part of this next phase will be a Disaster Recovery Survey, through which Barbudan Go will be collecting post-hurricane restoration data from Barbudan households, to aid in their planning and execution. It will also be seeking funding, both locally and internationally, to support the venture.
She also reiterated that the founders and directors of the organisation “are committed to developing the local community and will thereby, continue to engage local suppliers and service providers in the organisation’s upcoming programmes.”
Barbudan Go is currently in its first year of operation and is focused on capacity building, to strengthen their efforts going forward. Persons interested in assisting the organisation can email [email protected] or visit their Facebook page.