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15 Haitians granted tourist visas and released from protective custody; appeal issued for assistance

Fifteen Haitians, who travelled to Guyana several weeks ago in the hope of reaching French Guiana, have been released from police custody, prompting a call for donations to help make their stay comfortable, the women and children rights organisation, Red Thread , said Tuesday

“After a lot of work behind the scenes, those 15 persons are now out of the state’s accommodation and in possession of their travel documents once again,” Red Thread said in an update to participants at a recent Walter Rodney commemorative event held on June 13, 2017 when the status of the Haitians was raised.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that the 16 have been granted tourist visas, allowing them to remain in Guyana legally until September, 2017. Sources said during that period steps would be taken to find them sponsors to have them gainfully employed and granted work permits.

Red Thread’s appeal includes jobs and people to sponsor them. “The women can do hair, nails, makeup. The men include a mason, a welder, and two farmers.”

Earlier this month, Guyana sent back eight adults and six children to Haiti, saying that police had suspected that efforts had been made to smuggle them through Guyana to other destinations.

Red Thread issued a detailed appeal ranging from accommodation to food, furniture and farming tools. “Whatever you can offer would be welcome, be it help with settling in, rent (we are looking for rented accommodation); one-off/regular financial support.”

Items requested include toiletries – soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, sanitary pads, lotion etc- as well as housing and household stuff- beds/mattresses, table, chairs, stove and gas cylinder, pots/pans, wash basins, utensils, bedding, curtains, household cleansers, brooms, buckets, sewing machines, and farming implements  such as cutlasses and forks.

Donations can be dropped off at Red Thread, 72 Princes & Adelaide Streets, Charlestown, Georgetown.

Food items being requested include rice, red and black beans, coffee, bread, salted and sweet biscuits, meat, eggs, fish, coconut milk, bananas, oranges, mangoes, melon, potatoes, pasta, ketchup, tomato paste, cheese, vegetables, cooking oil, salt, and sugar.

Red Thread also called on Guyanese to assist the Haitians with casual wear clothing and work gear for the men as as well as footwear fir the women and children. The rights organisation also asked for school supplies and urged private primary schools to grant full scholarships to the seven children and the 16 year old  who may be able to pursue some computer courses.

  • TA

    Wonder if we can do the same in America? Nonsense to the extreme.

    • CleveM

      Don’t comment on what you have “zero” knowledge. Please!!

  • TA

    Wonder if we can do this in America? This is absolutely nonsense….Guyana the land of comdeians….boom out Minister..

  • Lancelot Brassington

    Hats off to red thread for this effort. There must have been a better way for the government to handle this.This was a lousy screw up. Not the coalition’s finest hour.

    When Guyanese are treated like floor cloths in other Caricom territories this government will have no moral authority to say anything because they have treated the Hatians, who are also Caricom nationals,the same way.

    I trust that processes are in place to ensure that this cannot happen again.

  • plantain

    So let me get this straight, they come to Guyana with the intent of moving on to French Guyana but do not have the resources to “move on”, so Guyanese are now being asked to provide resources for them.
    Is this a joke ????
    Why were they granted entry when they clearly had no “resources” to support themselves in Guyana & to move on to French Guyana ?
    Who in immigration OK this ? shady as hell folks.
    If I cant afford the Marriot or a back-house in Parika ,I ain’t going deh & then ask people to help me…personal responsibility anyone.
    Red Thread is highly irresponsible given that when these folks finally make it to French Guyana, they are often exploited, women forced into prostitution & modern slavery.

  • Col123

    Something about this report does not seem right….as it seems that these tourist can work and attend school, as a tourist in Guyana….when it seems as if they were in transit to French Guiana.
    However,This is a good moment for Guyana, as we can and should provide for those in their hours of need…At least not as insulting to the treatment of Guyanese, while in transit at Barbados and Trinidad. I can’t understand why it took this much time to penetrate the bureaucracy.. Going forward, the government hopefully, will have visitors complying with stringent visitors rules before embarking from their country of origin.

    • rs dasai

      Col
      Recall that our Guyana Baayo facilitated the journey.

  • rs dasai

    rux
    Very astute reasoning, which has possibilities?

  • Col123

    They have as much right to earn that status legally…you may be surprised about the industrious and hardworking ability of Haitians….just as much as them “self destructive PPP supporters,” as that west indian dude freddie described them Indians.