CARICOM Consular Corps organises relief for The Bahamas

CARICOM Consular Corp’s first relief effoty for the Bahamas, at Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, in Brownsville. From left, Consulate of Guyana staff, Lorraine Croft-Farnell, CG of Belize, Herman R. Longworth, Vice Counsul of Saint Lucia, Victoria Bousquet, CG of Guyana to New York, Barbara Atherly, CG of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to New York, Howie Prince, Vincy nationals, Rohan and Baylan Bailey, and Guyana Tri-State Alliance, President, Patricia Jordon-Langford.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Consul General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Lawrence S. Cartwright, expressed special thanks to the CARICOM Consular Corps for the outpouring of support, after Hurricane Dorian ravished parts of the island nation.

CG Cartwright, who joined the relief effort on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, 921 Hegeman Ave., in Brooklyn, conveyed appreciation to the diaspora and governments around the world, for the help, he said, was astounding.

“It is phenomenal, the way, governments from all over the world, and groups like us here in the diaspora, have come forward to show solidarity, it is outstanding. We are happy to be here, even though, it’s a sad situation in the Bahamas,” said Cartwright.

“We thank all who are showing support. We are in survival mode. Water, baby supplied, and non-perishable items are needed for people to sustain themselves,” he said, adding that tarpaulin is also necessary, because of a tropical storm in the area that is drenching the island with rain.

Hurricane Dorian ravished Abaco and Grand Bahama; the second and third economic power islands of the 16 major islands. “We have 14 islands, operational, and luckily, he said, “the island’s main economic power, New Providence, escaped the devastation, and the Bahamas is open for business, hotels are running, and life is going on other islands that escaped the wrath of Hurricane Dorian.”

Chair of the Consular Corps, Consul General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Howie Prince, reminded the gathering that the islands are in the hurricane belt and hurricanes do devastate them at times, and called for assistance to aid The Bahamas.

In 2017, the corps was formed to help the BVI and other islands that felt the wrath of Hurricane Maria.

“It is our duty to provide assistance to our brothers and sisters. We are asking to give generously. Financial assistance is also needed. Let us do what we can to ease citizens from this plight they are in,” said CG Prince.

Consul General of Guyana, Barbara Atherly, expressed condolences to the Bahamas nation, for the many citizens who died, noting, that when the Consular Corps was activate, after Hurricane Maria, and chaired by her, two years ago, there was an outpouring of support. As such, the body is hopeful that the response will be the same, with donations of necessary items to aid Bahamians.

She thanked her staff for their donations of much needed supplies, and for volunteering their time towards the relief effort that is being coordinated by the Consular Corps.

She also praised Guyana for the emergency team that is in place to assist the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) with rebuilding efforts, as part of the CARICOM mobilization plan.

The Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry, GBTI, has made a donatio, while the private sector has started cash relief efforts, as part of many other initiatives to aid Guyanese and other citizens living in the Bahamas.

The Saint Lucia Consulate, under Vice Consul, Victoria Bousquet is working closely with the corps.

CG Bousquet said the corps is doing a phenomenal job, adding, like other consulates, her office is collecting necessary items to be sent to The Bahamas Consulate, Manhattan. Additional contributions for packaging, shipping, and financial assistance, would be donated as needed.

In addition to partnering with the Consular Corps, Consul General of Belize, Herman L. Longworth, said his office will do whatever it can, to eliminate as much as possible the hardship the people in The Bahamas are experiencing.

“We came from a country that is located in the hurricane belt, so we know what it is like to be hit with a disaster,” he said.

“I am putting out a message to Belizeans. September is a time that we celebrate our independence, so as we celebrate, let us remember that we have brothers and sisters who are suffering, so as part of the celebration, take a little of what you have, and donate it to the poor people who are suffering, especially on Independence Day, Saturday, Sept. 21,” said CG Longworth.

During the daylong relief effort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines nationals, Gaylan and Rohan Bailey dropped off bleach, bottled water, and other items.

Barbadian national, and Twenty-four Hour Fitness, Spin Instructor, Kathy Ann Elliott, donated 60 cases of water.

“When I heard a hurricane was over the Bahamas for 24 hours, that felt very traumatic. I know how devastating that must have been for the people of that island. I have never heard of such a thing, so my first instinct, was water, because with all of the flooding, it must have affected the drinking water, so I asked my family, friends, and fitness clients to donate bottled water,” said Elliott, president of Women’s Motivational Services.

Jamaica’s “Dream Entertainment” group, on a visit to New York, dropped off a hefty donation, including, rice, flour, and bottled juice, at the request of CG Atherly. While Georgetown, Guyana, Mayor, Ubraj Narine, on his first visit to Brooklyn, delivered six cases of water.

The relief efforts will continue on Saturday, Sept.21, Sunday, and Sept. 22, from 10 am to 5 pm. Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20, from 10 am – 5 pm, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, 921 Hegeman Ave. in Brownsville.

Food items only, canned food, with long expiration date, baby products, (no clothing) could be also be dropped off at Saint Lucia House, 438 East 49th St., Brooklyn on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6, 10 am – 5 pm.

Queens: United Methodist Church, 126-22 150 Street, South Ozone Park. Call, 347-738 -1096, Rev. Bernadette Logan.

For a list of needed items visit the GuyanaconsulateofGuyanatoNewYork/facebook

Consul General of the Bahamas to New York, Lawrence S. Cartwright, speaking at the CARICOM Consular relief event in Brooklyn.

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