In an effort to assist Canje sugar workers who will be affected by the closure of the Rose Hall Estate, the Golden Om Dharmic Youth Organization has started to offer free counselling to the affected workers. The organization also plans to start a food drive with an aim to “ensure that no one is deprived of a meal”.
In a press release, the organization pledged to continue offering counselling, as well as to continue to stand in solidarity and to assist the sugar workers who will no longer be able to provide for their families.
The organization also questioned why other alternatives were not considered instead of rushing to the end game of closure. It also questioned, why training and developing skill sets for new jobs haven’t begun as yet and whether workers will be given food stamps from the government. The organization also queried whether the affected workers would receive a subsidy for water and electricity.
The press release also questioned whether the officials had a second thought of the mental effect the closure of the estates would have on the workers, who will no longer be able to provide basic necessities for their loved ones. “We wish to urge all workers to remain calm and not allow the frustration to interfere with your thoughts”.
“As an organization, we had applied under the Youth Innovation Project for funds to help initiate training programmes for these workers since it became known that the closure was imminent, but this was not granted. However, we have been able to continue our counseling work”, the release said.
The release said that once the estates are out of operation and the closure sinks in, with persons not bringing home an income and monies not circulating within the country “the entire nation will then suffer”. “An era has come to an end for GuySuco, and sugar cultivation may fade into history,” the organization added.
The release also stressed, that it is time for those in the diplomatic community to hear the cries of the sugar workers and “take a stand with them.”