This post is directed specifically at fellow countrymen and women in Canada. However, I urge readers all over the world to consider contributing to the Relief Effort in Dominica with donations or contributions through aid organizations such as the International Red Cross (specify Dominica) or the Government of Dominica’s special accounts in various currencies . Further information can be found by clicking Office of the Prime Minister of Dominica – TS Erika Recovery and Reconstruction Fund.
You may already know that Dominica, like Canada, is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. But did you know that thousands of Dominicans live in Canada? Despite their relocation, they maintain very close ties with their homeland, the Nature Island, as evidenced by the proactive Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association. I have met many Dominican-Canadians over the past 18 years, and they are very appreciative of the diverse opportunities they have had in this large northern land. The only complaint is a unanimous one: the cold! I can certainly empathize with that.
I am not sure how many Canadians reside on the Nature Isle. The few with whom I am acquainted have lived there for more than a decade. Other friends have returned to Canada, but keep up ties and interest in this beautiful rainforested land that was their home for a while.
While media coverage has been sadly lacking since the passage of TS Erika completely destroyed Dominica on August 27th, international aid has arrived from many countries – both large and small. The country’s nearest neighbours, comprised of members of CARICOM and French Overseas Departments were quick to assist in myriad ways. British and Dutch relief ships have brought in some badly needed supplies and medical personnel. Unfortunately, response to this crisis has been slow from developed countries such as Canada. Much more humanitarian aid and support is required to help this tiny country of 70,000 people to get back on its feet.
General awareness of this dire situation in Canada is almost non-existent. It would be most appreciated if the Government of Canada would consider the crisis in Dominica as a worthy area for humanitarian assistance to aid in this massive recovery effort. I attempted to call the Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday and was not successful in relaying my message by phone. However, I did fill out a form email letter, requesting humanitarian aid for Dominica. If you would like to do the same, it could only help increase awareness about the crisis on the Nature Island. Click here to write to Canada. Department of Foreign Affairs .
Thankfully, there are some organizations such as the Toronto-based Commonwealth of Dominica Ontario Association (CDOA)who are spearheading a massive fundraising campaign, organizing benefit concerts and collecting requested items to be sent to Dominica. In fact, two containers are be shipped to Dominica this weekend, and it is likely another one will be sent to the Nature Island in the near future. They have raised over $50,000 of their $100,000 CAD goal, thanks to donations both large and small to their charitable initiative. This drive is recognized by the Government of Dominica. Please clink on the link above to the CDOA to find out more and/or make a donation to the Relief and Recovery Effort.
As well, the Rotary Club of Ottawa South has close ties with the Nature Isle, and is organizing events and raising funds in aid of Dominica’s plight. If you live in the Nation’s Capital, you might like to check them out.
As a Canadian who has resided on Dominica for more than 18 years, I will do all that I can to help those in my adopted home. Fellow countrymen and women, you
may not live there, you may not know much about the Nature Island, but I assure you that it is one of the most pristine places in the world, and that is why I live there. It has given me an improved quality of life and numerous opportunities for adventure in its sensational surroundings. You can find out more by reading Ti Domnik Tales, which has over 150 posts about this lovely land! Its warm friendly people may be small in number compared to other countries, but they definitely deserve a helping hand to recover from this catastrophic natural disaster.
Please find it in your hearts to help Dominica in its time of need. Thank you!!!