Losses throughout the Caribbean, caused by hurricanes Jose, Irma and Maria, have left many without homes and basic supplies. Many in TT have done what they could to help those left without.
In a September 8 BBC article, the cost of Hurricane Irma was estimated to be more than US$10 billion.
The National Union of Government and Federated Workers (NUGFW) in collaboration with the National Trade Union Centre will lift their voices in solidarity and praise for those affected in countries like Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla and Sint Maarten by those hurricanes.
This year’s In Solidarity and Praise 3, being held next Saturday at NUGFW’s car park, Henry Street, seeks to raise funds for those across the region.
In Solidarity and Praise began in 2015. The idea starting with Jillian Bartlett, NUGFW’s general secretary. Aneisha Parks, NUGFW’s director of communications and research told Newsday, “In Solidarity and Praise was conceptualised by Jillian Joy Bartlett... This came to her in 2015. It was something she had always wanted to do but 2015 was the year that produced the opportunity for her to do so.”
Parks said each year the concert is held in aid of a particular cause. In 2015 the concert campaigned for the elimination of violence against women and girls as well as gender-based violence.
From its start in 2015, the concert continued its campaign against gender-based violence last year. But, “This year, in light of what has happened during the hurricane season...a lot of the trade unions we are affiliated with have been greatly affected and their members as well,” she said.
Parks said that these disasters are also harder on women and girls. “The things we take for granted, they cannot get. A simple, basic thing like water is hard for them to get. As bad as the situation may seem to be, it really is much worse when you get to take a look at what is going on across there. This concert is really for us to come together and collect those funds so that we can send to them.”
And so its name is twofold, the coming together of its community but also an opportunity to give thanks for bringing “us through everything that we have been through as a union and nation.”
The concert will feature 15 performers, among them Positive, Jadee, Sean Daniel and Blessed Messenger. Patrons can expect some surprise artistes as well as union representation at the concert. “We have an African band that will be performing as well,” Parks said. The union hopes to raise at least $100,000 to be able to purchase basic supplies for those affected. Coming out of the 2016 campaign is a book called Her Story, Our Story. “We did an interview with someone who went through violence from domestic violence, abuse, sexual harassment from childhood all the way to the workplace.”
Parks said the book will be released soon. Tickets for In Solidarity and Praise can be bought at Maranatha Bookstore (Tunapuna and South), Prosperity Health Store (Frederick Street) and Shoe Aholics (Arima).