The Concerned Citizens of Danielstown located across the Diaspora held their Anniversary & Homecoming Celebra-tions August 9-16, 2014. Danielstown, on the Essequibo Coast, was purchased by a group of slaves in 1840. We asked people who attended the events for their views on the homecoming and the state of Danielstown.
Photos and interviews
by Kenesha Fraser
`In any area, there are community problems and in this community I think that the youths should be more involved. The Con-cerned Citizens of Daniels-town has done a great deal for the community but I still think that we should call the attention of the community members to work together so we could make this village a better place. This year the homecoming celebrations were bigger and better but I am a bit saddened that the youths are not participating fully. These young people should be sensitive about the effectiveness of cooperation so that we will be able to achieve more. We have a beautiful community and we are always united. I am happy that everyone living here realizes the importance of togetherness. Each of the activities that we had so far went extremely well and it brings great joy to me that everything is going great.’
`I know that the work of the organization is challenging but they are doing a great job. We appreciate what the Concerned Citizens of Danielstown is doing for the community. The community members have a positive response to all of the projects and activities. We all have a lot in common so before we decide what will be the other projects that are needed in the community, we will sit and discuss some of the things we want to be put in place. To be truthful, the youths are not fully involved and we are hoping that in the near future the youths will show full participation.
Since the organization has been founded we have seen tremendous changes and we are grateful for all that has been done.’
`The activities from the homecoming celebrations have a very positive impact on the lives of the community members. It helps persons to come together and we are all united as one. We also enjoy the social activities that are planned and they cater for each person in the community. I really enjoyed the ‘Little Princess Pageant’. This year was the first time that the event was hosted. As a community member I have seen many improvements and I am grateful for all that has been done.’
`I think these homecoming activities have impacted this community to a large extent. Each community member came out and I think that it is because of the unity. The Concerned Citizens of Danielstown has set up a library at the Community Centre and a bridge was built so access can be gained to the seawall. These two projects benefit all villagers. A bus shed was also built at Windsor Castle and every homecoming we try to make sure that things are in place. The Organization was born since 2000 and even though we are not getting a 100 percent response from the youth, we are doing fairly ok. Support is also given by the business community and we advocate that everybody should play a part and take care of the projects.’
`I can say that a lot of help was given to this community by the Concerned Citizens of Danielstown especially to the elderly folks and the schools from La Belle Alliance to Windsor Castle have also benefited from the organisation. Most persons look forward to this time for the week’s celebrations.
For this year, we had a welcome home bar-b-que. The events were well attended by the residents and we all had a grand time. We had a president’s party where we did a lot of cooking and I enjoyed that the most. The youths have responded favourably this week even though it could have been better. I think that the organization is providing a great stepping stone for the community members. I would like more persons to get involved since I think these activities are benefiting each of us.’
`I live in Georgetown but I came here specially for these activities. So far I have been enjoying it a lot. From what I have seen the community members are all giving their full support. This is my second year here and the turnout is quite favourable. Overall, the projects that were funded by the Concerned Citizens of Danielstown have benefited the community and it is good that something is being done to preserve the community and its heritage. I however would be pleased if all the youths can be a part. These celebrations are not only for the older people but for the young ones as well.’
`The homecoming activities this year have been great. I’m not usually here but when I came home, I was quite pleased with the improvements I have seen in the village. The Concerned Citizens of Danielstown has done a great deal in making the community a better place. It is the now the duty of the villagers to take care of the projects. I have noticed that even though the events are well attended, the youths are somehow scarcely involved.
Something should be done therefore to attract the youths to activities as these. I can say that the older folks have shown us what unity really means. They have been participating in each activity which is exemplary. We have to follow the pattern of the older ones and in the near future we will reap the benefits of our efforts.’
`I believe that the homecoming celebrations is something that the people in the village look forward to and I have been a part of it since the inception. The week’s celebration is anticipated and well received and welcomed by the villagers. The support is not there as before but I know the festivities will bring about a change. In my time when I was in my late teens I use to be one of the active participants and I haven’t been seeing that now by these youngsters and I was starting to get worried. However I think that the youths should be encouraged to participate fully in all the activities. By all means we have to do whatever is possible to remind the youths about their culture and heritage.’
Member of the Concerned Citizens of Danielstown New York Chapter
`I have been a member of the association from the beginning. The response from the community here in Danielstown is quite favourable. We do not demand to fund projects instead we let them convey to us what they have in mind and we work along with them. The homecoming is celebrated every two years and we are always happy to be back home. Our association provides the funding for the projects but the community also holds fund raising activities to assist. I am pleased that the projects are taken care of and everyone in the village is playing a part in their maintenance. The main aim of the association is to make the community a better place and we are on the right track in making that dream a reality.’
Member of the Concerned Citizens Daniels-town New York Chapter.
`The main aim of the association is to offer financial assistance to the community. In our logo, you would notice five sets of interlocking hands which represents the villages from La Belle Alliance to Windsor Castle. We try to include everybody in our activities and the response is extraordinary. The community of Danielstown has done a great deal to show us how much the work that we did is appreciated. We will continue to lend our support in every way possible. I agree that the youths have been missing and it is our dream that they too will become fully involved.’