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GUYANA - Alicia Foundation

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The Alicea Foundation, a not for profit company registered on November 11, 1997, was formed by Denise Dias eight years ago when her daughter Alicea died, with the following objective:

"To promote any charitable purposes for the benefit of the people of Guyana and in particular the advancement of education, the furtherance of health and safety and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness.”

Since the floods began, in addition to whatever work each of us has had to do in relation to our own flooded environments, we have been working individually on the broader flood relief, each pitching in as best we can. Then on Saturday January 22, a group of us met and decided to work together on the flood relief.

The initial group meeting included me (Andaiye); Beverley Harper; Rachel Andrade-Sankar; Nicky Mendes; Josephine Whitehead; Vidya Kissoon; Alana King; Colin Ming; Kathleen Whalen; and Denise Dias. Others have since joined us. We are using the Alicea Foundation Inc., to receive donations, keeping separate records and sending reports to all donors. Josephine Whitehead is our treasurer.


(i) to support the work of the Red Cross and other established relief agencies;

(ii) to develop and use a rapid response capability.

Even as we were meeting we began to address both aims in relation to 4 shelters in Mahaica in which families were gathering faster than the supplies they needed: we made contact with government agencies about food supplies; made arrangements for transport of other Red Cross supplies; and purchased and forwarded over G$200,000 (US$1000) in medication as our direct “rapid response”.

Flood relief action is beginning to be more coordinated; significantly, a Citizens Initiative with which we are collaborating had its first meeting yesterday, and agreed to establish a direct link between the Joint Operations Committee established by the government and the efforts of non-government groups. This does not remove the need for a group with the aims we’ve identified, particularly the development of some rapid response capability. There will continue to be households that no one is getting to – and we need funds right now as we are being inundated with emergencies. Please note the following account details:-

THE ALICEA FOUNDATION, N. B. I. C. Water Street, Georgetown, Guyana.

A/C # 653-421-8.


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  The crisis in Guyana now heightens as there are now reported deaths from Leptospirosis, pnuemonia and other flood related illnesses.

The Alicea Foundation is continuing our efforts in collaboration with members of the Demerara Rotary Club to get help out to people still very affected by waters that are not subsiding in many areas.

While our politicians continue to play games with the lives and health of our people, it is imperative that we private citizens play our part. Our group has joined up with other NGO organisations in what is called "Guyana Citizens Initiative" and have managed to get some of our few remaining intellectuals together to work expeditiously in getting neccessary help to the people without duplication. Facts and data are being documented based on incoming reports from assessment teams and the findings astounds even the most hardened souls.
I have personally driven up the East Coast as far as Cove and John and the utter devastation is mind-boggling. People and animals are on the roadways begging for food and water supplies and the look on all the faces can only be described as a survival race. The stench from the garbage littered all along the roadways are disgusting. Animals and persons were seen rummaging for food among the garbage. I counted no less than 24 carcasses along the way, some in close proximity of a market which was bustling with people purchasing the very things that advisories have suggested not be bought. Almost everyone was bare-foot, very few wore long boots since the waters into their homes were above their waists.
Almost every NGO I've met, has noted that in many of the villages its the women pulling things together...the men sit around playing dominoes, drinking or just so traumatised that they sit and stare at nothing...this I have witnessed for myself. Our group has had to seek medical help for quite a few women who having spent days wading through the dirty waters have devoloped serious vaginal infections...even that of the uterus. Children who were obviously malnutritioned before the floods and have weakened immune systems are becoming ill. I could go on and on but the stories are endless of losses, livelihood and utter devastation.
It angers me that our government has taken this so lightly and I know it is frustrating members of the diplomatic community. It is my hope that the people of Guyana stand up and demand answers and that heads roll for this disaster.

The Alicea Foundation still needs any help you can give....US20.00 can buy one mattress for someone...Help us help others.


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