Posted by Mitsy Ellis-Simpson on Sep 02, 2019
District 7020 Governor Delma Maduro
Following an emergency meeting held today to coordinate disaster relief efforts, the Rotary Family of the BVI will be launching a major fundraiser to help victims of the catastrophic Hurricane Dorian which made landfall in the Bahamas yesterday. This will include a live telethon to be held on Tuesday, 10th September 2019.

Hurricane Dorian has caused, in the words of Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis, "unprecedented devastation" to the northern Bahama Islands, and threatens more. With, according to Red Cross estimates, as many as 13,000 houses destroyed on the Abaco Islands alone and clean water supplies compromised, significant humanitarian needs are expected. There is as yet no official confirmation on fatalities and injuries, due in part to the difficulties rescue crews face accessing the affected areas, although at least one death has been reported. However, it is our fervent prayer and hope that no other deaths will be reported.

The entire Territory has been following the situation in the Bahamas closely and all have tried to maintain contact with friends and colleague in the Bahamas, communication difficulties notwithstanding. The Rotary family of the BVI and the Bahamas are members of the same District, Rotary District 7020 of which Mrs. Delma Maduro is a member of the Rotary Club of Tortola  and presently the District 7020 Governor.  As a result of Mrs Maduro's regular and direct communications with colleagues in the Bahamas, Rotary in the BVI has been able to get a good first hand picture of the situation and needs in the northern islands. Following conversations with Rotary leaders in the Bahamas, the consensus is that the most efficient way of providing assistance is by way of cash donations to the central Rotary Disaster Relief Fund established in the Bahamas to support relief and recovery. Rotary Assistant Governor Lorna Smith OBE said that as there is still a good aid distribution infrastructure on the ground in those parts of the Bahamas less affected by Dorian, and the quickest and most efficient way of helping the people there is to provide those on the ground there with the funds necessary to obtain much needed relief.

Rotary will start its main efforts on Tuesday, 10th September. Rotarians and Rotaractors will be manning the phones at fundraising headquarters at Maria‚Äôs by the Sea which will host a live telethon to be broadcast on local radio and on line media. Residents are asked to please tune in between 5:30 pm and 10:00 pm and call in pledges using credit or debit cards, or simply drop by Maria's in person to contribute. Rotarians and friends throughout the territory will happily collect contributions from those finding it difficult to get to Maria's. Every Dollar will help.

Details of participating radio stations, telephone numbers and payment information will be notified in due course.

Just as the people of the Bahamas, and other peoples throughout the Caribbean and the wider world, helped the people of the BVI after the devastating hurricanes of 2017, the Rotary Family of the BVI now stands ready to do the same and would be most appreciative of the generosity of the BVI community for its help in this. 

The current aim is to raise at least $35,000.00 through the telethon.