Jacquelyn Hamer, newly appointed deputy consul general of Guyana to New York, said she was pleased with the huge response the diplomatic office received at its first outreach program in Ozone Park, Queens, on Nov. 7.
“We could not have desired better,” said Hamer who jointed the Manhattan office on Sept. 1, 2015, with a mandate from President David Granger, to pay better attention to Guyanese living in the Diaspora.
In her first order of business, the diplomat craft an initiative to better serve communities that have a large population of elders.
She noted that senior citizens face many hours communicating from the outer boroughs for Life Certificates, and as such, she planned a second outreach for Nov. 21, at the Restoration Temple, at 4610 Church Ave., Brooklyn, from 10 am.
While reminding Guyanese about the importance of holding a valid passport with six-month validity in case of an emergency, Hamer has already set up the 2016 outreach that will take the consulate to the Bronx, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Schenectady.
Over 50 citizens showed up to applied for passport renewals, new passports, life certificates, powers of attorney, birth certificates, legal documents, and emergency travel documents, to name a few.
The service will also register overseas births, and will issue a passport to a child born in America to both, or one Guyanese parent.
The consulate, established almost 50 years after Guyana became independent, will use this initiative as part of a broader outreach to welcome Guyanese to the diplomat office.
Book-signings, private functions, documentary film nights are some of the events Guyanese will enjoy, as the country showcases its tourism product.
Hamer, a quick thinker, will pursue a vibrant and rigorous economic diplomacy program to attract Guyanese and other foreign investors, while forging linkages with Georgetown agencies, Go Invest, the Tourism Authority, and the Ministry of Business.
“The consulate is creating a database to engage the Diaspora, and will use social media such as Facebook, and update its website to stay in touch with Guyanese,” said Hamer. She is excited about the outreach and call on Guyanese to share ideas and suggestions on how the consulate could better serve them.
A suggestion box will also be placed in the consulate to facility this gesture.
The consulate held its first sensitivity and customer relations training to prepare staff for its revitalization.
Staff of the consulate including Consul General Brentnold Evans said they have enjoyed serving fellow Guyanese in the community, and praised Hamer for turning around the diplomatic office that citizens complained lacked courtesy and knowledge of operations.
Hamer thanked Rozanna Beaumont, CEO & broker of Akcess 24Homes Inc. who she said eagerly donated her office space that accommodated applicants in 10 booths, a waiting area, conference room and private office space. She added that some nationals patiently waited outside the building for the 10 am start time.
Beaumont, a member of the Guyana Tri-State Alliance, said the community needs this service.
“The response was great,” said Beaumont, a radio host who thanked Roshan Shiwcharran and Herman Singh for airing the outreach. Flyers were also posted in churches, mosques and temples.
“The community wants to be served in a very polite and courteous manner, and this is what we received,” said Beaumont. She commended Hamer and her staff for doing an excellent, efficient job serving Guyanese.
Staff from the consulate, and the Mission to the UN, worked diligently to process documents. They included: Beverley McDonald, newly appointed counselor from Georgetown, Ackleema Siddique, Aquafie Munroe, Indranie Persaud Fazia Khusial Donna Christophe, Desarie Theobald, Tricia James, Loretta Daniels, all executive officers.
Others are, Davi Bassant, confidential secretary, Steve Goodluck, Mark Persaud, Benjamin Singh and Narine Lutchman.