Babsy seeks US$10m for COVID-19 fight


Babsy seeks US$10m for COVID-19 fight

Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

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ENTERTAINMENT and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange is confident that the US$10 million target she has set to be raised from the Together We Stand telethon will be met.

She unveiled the details of the telethon during an online performance featuring singer Christopher Martin on Sunday.

The event — set for next Sunday, April 12 — will see entertainers, sports stars, and other personalities lending their time and talent to raise funds to purchase personal protective gear and equipment for health care workers, security forces, and other front line workers in the fight against the pandemic.

“Yes, it is an ambitious target and we're quite confident that we will be able to raise the funds to provide the additional resources. So this is about strengthening the capacity of our health services to fight COVID-19 and protect the nation,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

The telethon will also be on other online platforms from 3:00-9:00 pm.

When questioned about the feasibility of such an undertaking, given the great financial insecurity and uncertainty that exists among Jamaicans at home and abroad, the minister was equally optimistic.

“Telethon Jamaica: Together We Stand is more that a fund-raising activity. It is also about inspiring hope and helping people to cope during this time. Our Jamaican music has always been a balm in times of trouble and we believe this six-hour telethon will also lift the spirits of people, expose artistes, even while we raise funds for our health services,” she said.

“The telethon takes place on Easter Sunday, but it is not a one-day activity. The platforms for making donations will remain open as we rotate the feed across various regions of the world. We expect to raise the funds over a period of time,” Minister Grange continued.

Meanwhile, the minister and her team are still compiling the line-up of performers as well as supporting personalities who will lend their services to the telethon. At the time, she shared that recording artistes Richie Spice, Gyptian, Maxi Priest, Minister Marion Hall, Spice, Alborosie, Chris Martin, OMI, Stephen Marley, and Koffee, as well as veteran actor Oliver Samuels and retired sports star Usain Bolt are expected to participate.

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