Veteran entertainer and ten-time calypso king Stedson Red Plastic Bag Wilshire, wants to empower communities through charitable efforts and education.
This morning at Pure Ocean Restaurant, Divi South Winds, RPB launched the Red Foundation Charity, dedicated to poverty alleviation, education, provision of social welfare services to those in need and promoting community development projects.
RPB said throughout his calypso career, the public of Barbados and people around the world had supported him and it was time to return the favour to others.
“I have received a lot of love from the people of Barbados, the Caribbean and through the world. I want to show my appreciation for that love but sharing all the love with people who are in need and need help.”
The Bag, however, is not new to lending a helping hand, revealing he had worked with The Barbados Tampa Bay Association and other charities in Canada and Los Angeles.
“I believe it was time that I start my own foundation here so that I can make a significant contribution from this end. I came from very humble beginnings and I know what it is to struggle.
“Speaking to children and teachers at schools, I have recognized that so many persons are in need of assistance and this foundation is ready and willing to work extremely hard to make a difference. I thought it was high time to get it going,” he told the media.
Chairman of the foundation, Alvin Jemmott who also heads the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, reiterated the need for such an organization in Barbados.
“There are many at-risk young people in Barbados today, who lack guidance and discipline. There are many in communities who embrace illegal activity as a means of necessity rather than choice.
“Communities that many want to ignore, but where may live some of the future leaders of this country, if given the opportunity, if given the help and guidance they need.”
Though it was recently established, the Red Foundation has already received support and plans to stage fund raising activities, one being an annual Blue Ball around Independence.
Many of the island’s entertainers have expressed interest in the foundation which Jemmott said had big plans for assisting entertainers in need.
“Some of the things very dear to RPB is the assistance that can be lent to some of his fellow entertainers. We have seen for years a lot of entertainers having successful careers but then pushing the boundaries of poverty. Every time I speak to Stedson he mentions this and that he wants to see the foundation take an active role in trying to support them,” Jemmott noted.
Also at the launch was Cheif Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation Cranston Browne, who described the Red Foundation as a worthy project.
Browne also revealed that helping local entertainers was an initiative that the NCF would support.
“This is something the NCF should look at now; how do we try to assist those who have given so much to the cultural aspect in Barbados. If the NCF can partner with the Red Foundation to do certain projects we will like to do this.”