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, Republic Bank, Water Street, Georgetown, Guyana.