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Caribbean migrants in UK reach out

Caribbean migrants in UK reach out


The UK-based Caribbean migrant community has “a duty to support vulnerable Caribbean states” in their efforts to recover from disasters, such as the devastating floods of Christmas Eve 2013, which wreaked havoc in St Vincent and the Grenadines {{more}}and neighbouring states.

So said Clintel Rose, chair and co-founder of the Caribbean Peoples Foundation (CPF), as he addressed a fund-raising dinner in High Wycombe, UK, to mark the first anniversary of the floods.

The CPF was formed with the aim of bringing together Caribbean people in the UK diaspora to provide assistance in the event of disasters such as those of December 2013. It aims to work with OECS countries in the first instance, given their record in regional integration, but to extend the outreach to include all CARICOM countries and the other non-English speaking Caribbean states.

The dinner was attended by hundreds of Caribbean migrants, among them, High Wycombe Mayor Khalil Ahmed, the Member of Parliament for the area, Steve Baker and representatives from the various Caribbean High Commissions in the UK.

One of these, Vincentian Doris Charles, who holds the post of Minister Counsellor at her country’s High Commission, thanked the CPF for its efforts “to alleviate the rather difficult and challenging times in our home countries.” She called for observance of a minute’s silence in honour of those who died and suffered as a result of the floods.

CPF chair Rose, originally from Stoney Ground in the Kingstown area, said that it is important for the migrant community to assist since “we can’t depend on government to do everything for us.” He said that the Caribbean is struggling and does not “have the resources to effectively recover from this kind of devastation.”

It is therefore the duty of those in the diaspora to help.

“Collectively we can make a huge difference in making sure that our home countries prepare for and recover from disasters,” Rose told the gathering. He also urged that they strive to overcome insularity, but rather place emphasis on their Caribbean identity as “one people.”