President of the Dominica-Haiti Friendship Association (DHFA), Joubert Cazeneuve said the association is committed to providing continued support to Haitian nationals living in Dominica.
Cazeneuve believes that there are a number of Haitian nationals who come to Dominica and are not welcomed.
He told Dominica News Online (DNO) during an interview this week that the association is here to “stand up” for all Haitians living in Dominica.
“We see that when Haitians come to Dominica, we feel like they are not welcomed. Why we believe they are not welcome, is that they do not have the association there to help them and to show them the beauty of Dominica…,” Cazeneuve said.
He said the association has plans in place to assist the Haitian immigrants in finding a job and to cover expenses.
“There are some Haitians in Dominica who do not have money to pay their rent, so the association is there to help them to pay their rent,” Cazeneuve stated. “Others come to Dominica and cannot speak English, and when they go to the Labour Division they are unable to fill in the form provided, so the association is there to translate for them and to help them to full the forms.”
Advisor of the Association, Clermond Wilner, is calling on all Haitians living in Dominica to join the association.
He said they are required to pay a small fee of $10 monthly.
This, he said, will go a long way in assisting Haitian Nationals in case anyone is ill and would need financial assistance or for payment of college fees.
“This is a way of raising funds to assist our Haitian brothers and sisters, “ Wilner explained.
Another advisor, Smith Fleurantis, says Haitians living in Dominica must be educated on the country’s laws.
“Some have nobody to advise them what to do, so we are standing on behalf of them,” Fleurantis declared. “We have to advise them on the laws of Dominica…if they are doing something badly we are there to inform them to be on the right side…we are here to make peace.”
Meantime, Secretary of the association, Anna Gaelle Garcon, said the association is working closely with the Dominica State College (DSC) in offering a program to help all Haitians to learn the English language.
“Some Haitians come to Dominica and cannot speak English, because of that they cannot work,” she remarked
She said the DSC is offering a program called English as a Second Language where Haitians can take advantage of that opportunity to learn the English language.
“The fee is $300 for every semester for 1 year and after participation, they will be able to enroll at the college,” Garcon explained.
The Association has been in existence since 2005.