Bahamian students cry out for help

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“We are struggling.” That is the cry of some Bahamians studying at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus.

The MIDWEEK NATION was informed some Bahamians were experiencing challenges after returning from their devastated homeland to complete their studies in various speciality fields at the campus.

Carlos Rose, 21, a third-year student studying bio chemistry, said they were about eight Bahamian students, including him, who have had difficulty paying tuition fees and purchasing books and covering living expenses of rent, buying food and other supplies.

Speaking on behalf of the group Rose said, “They are about eight of us who were on the same relief boat that took us to the United States from Bahamas before we flew here. We all went through the same experience, in that we lost our homes due to Hurricane Dorian and weren’t able to save much. Given all that we went through, we thought the university would have given us a waiver of fees. We got a deferral of our fees but it is still difficult for us to pay given the situation.

“A number of the banks back home aren’t even opened so getting money and surviving here has been really hard. We don’t have much money to buy groceries; what little we left The Bahamas with is all we have. When we first came back, the Guild president gave us a few canned goods and necessities but that’s all we are surviving on right now. Other than that we rely on what our friends give us.”

Rose said that while he and the others were grateful for help, he said it was emotionally taxing worrying about how they would get by, while thinking of those they left at home.

President-elect of the Guild of Students, Thacher Loutin said relief was on the way for the students.

In total she said about 20 Bahamians were studying at the campus.

“We have barrels all over the campus and people have been donating,” she said. “A local bank donated US$10 000 to go towards helping the students and this month money was deducted from lecturers’ salaries. So this weekend we plan to do a pool and we would be issuing stuff to them.”

Communications officer of the campus, Chelston Lovell, said arrangements were being made to assist the students. He said the Bahamian Student Association, the Student Guild and members of staff were doing all they could to help.

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