Category Archives: Guyana Diaspora

AGING: Systemic Obstacles That Lead To Social Exclusion For Seniors – By Yvonne Sam

Systemic Obstacles That Lead To Social Exclusion For Seniors

By 2036, Montrealers, aged 65 or over, will be around 465,800, and most are women. Photo credit: Anna Shvets/Pexels.

By Yvonne Sam – Contributing Columnist PRIDE NEWS Commentary 

Yvonne Sam -- newSocial exclusion is the process, through which individuals or groups are excluded from facilities, benefits and the opportunities that the others enjoy.

Montréal’s population is growing older and this is expected to accelerate over the next few years. In 2016, there were 323,660 Montrealers, aged 65 or over. By 2036, this figure will be around 465,800, and most are women.

Among the social groups considered vulnerable are the elderly, and the current pandemic has affected them disproportionally. It has excluded older adults from in-person contact with others in society. As such, they must shelter, in place, and maintain physical distance from others during this pandemic.

The Acts of Exclusion
Digital technologies pervade all aspects of life. The internet is a key example of modern digital technology that enables people to overcome physical distance, through digital social connections.

Older adults are less likely to be able to take advantage of the opportunities, enabled by modern information and communication technologies, such as smart-phones, tablets, and high-speed internet services.  They tend to opt not to use the Internet or cannot afford Internet access.

Additionally, they lack technologies with which to use video-chat apps to virtually connect with people, or lack the skills to use certain technologies, even if they do have access.

Physical or cognitive limitations may prevent seniors, in long-term care facilities, from being able to use communication technologies on their own, without assistance from others. Non-participation in the digital world leads older adults to feel social exclusion during times of physical distancing.

The global social-distancing mandates during COVID-19, minimize social contact, but many people circumvent these limitations by using communication technologies to remain connected.

The Elderly and Digital Equity
The United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2021 theme, “Digital Equity for All Ages”, predicates the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.

Digital equity is necessary for civic and cultural participation, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services. Older persons experience digital inequity to a greater extent than other groups in society. They are often not benefitting fully, from the opportunities provided by technological progress.

Sadly, most tech gurus at stores, online or on help lines are young people using unfamiliar terms or speeding through explanations. Now is the time to cross the digital barrier. The theme resonates loud and clear: now is the time to bring technology to the entire aging population. The need is increasing and not disappearing.

Older adults can learn technology, but it must be adapted for them and made accessible, and this is not happening. Older adults lack connected devices and internet access; devices are too expensive for those on limited incomes, and internet connectivity packages often do not consider the needs and uses of this demographic.

Conclusively, while the obstacles are many, it is imperative that older adults attain digital literacy and get connected, if they are to stay relevant, employable and engaged in their local communities. They need empowering learning opportunities, not ones that make them feel overwhelmed, ignorant or helpless.

Let not the United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2021 theme seem like an unattainable dream.

Aleuta continua — the struggle continues.

Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is the Chair of the Rights and Freedom Committee at the Black Community Resource Centre. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.

Cambridge Academy Alumni Association- Sip and Chat – Virtual Event- November 7. 2021

Vaccine Passports, The Nuremberg Trial, Declaration Of Helsinki And What’s To Be – By Yvonne Sam

Vaccine Passports, The Nuremberg Trial, Declaration Of Helsinki And What’s To Be

Photo credit: Markus Winkler/Unsplash.

Yvonne Sam -- newWhile we are all deliberating, integrating, contemplating, even procrastinating, following the government’s announcement of its intention to institute vaccination passports, here are a few areas that begs immediate, and thorough, consideration.

Firstly, given the current situation, an election, and new virus detection, to start focusing on the insistence and ultimate existence of vaccine passports is a distraction that risks dividing people at a moment when national unity is crucial.

Additionally,  political grandstanding about vaccine passports serves no one.            Continue reading

CANADA: British Columbians Invited To Help Shape Anti-Racism Data Legislation 

British Columbia – Canada

CANADA: Province of British Columbia:

British Columbians are encouraged to help shape B.C.’s anti-racism data legislation, so government can better identify existing gaps and create a more inclusive, equitable province. 

The public consultation will help inform government about how to collect data in a way that is reflective of the needs and experiences of Indigenous, Black and people of colour (IBPOC) communities.

“Systemic racism exists everywhere, including in government policies and programs, and we know that too many communities are facing barriers in their lives because of it,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. “This engagement will help shed more light on the experiences of people using government services in B.C., so that we can break down these barriers they’re facing, identify gaps and deliver better supports. It will also ensure that our approach to collecting data meets the needs of IBPOC communities and does not exacerbate existing systemic issues.”      Continue reading

PROFILE: First Year of Rotary Club of Garden City Georgetown – by Francis Quamina Farrier

– by Francis Quamina Farrier

Founded a year ago in September 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic raged around Guyana and the rest of the world, a group of 33 patriotic Guyanese banded themselves together and founded the Rotary Club of Garden City – Georgetown.  Each individual member felt that their involvement could make a positive difference to the quality of life of their fellow Guyanese. As most citizens would agree, there is the need for many more individuals and groups who are focused on giving more of themselves to work for the genuine development of the Guyana society at large.

The important discipline of not littering or dumping garbage illegally, here, there and anywhere, is needed so much in Guyana at this time. While there are exemplary citizens who do the right things most of the time, there are just too many who lack the urge to extract the line from the country’s National Pledge which states in part, “To Love My fellow citizen.”      Continue reading

GUYANA: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Investing in Guyana Webinars – October 4-8 @ 6PM EST

REGISTRATION LINKS BELOW:  Continue reading

PROFILE: Breaking free from the Roman Catholic Church – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Photo by @seb on Pexels.com

Breaking free from the Roman Catholic Church did not happen overnight.

The fear of Hell, embedded since childhood, is a powerful force. I began questioning the Church’s religious teachings and practices during my seven years in the convent.

A beginners’ course in Anthropology, taken as a final year university undergraduate, led me to reconsider the nature of being human and our roles as male and female. I recall having an epiphany about the need to change the rules regarding the Church’s Sacrament of Matrimony that was out of touch with our times.      Continue reading

Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs : Diaspora Conference Webinar – September 8, 2021 – Presentation

Diaspora Conference Webinar – September 8, 2021

On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, we want to thank you for attending the webinar on September 8, 2021. Even if you did not attend you could have an idea of the event by downloading the PowerPoint presentation below.

We look forward to your participation in future events.

Please find Ms. Rosalinda Rasul’s PowerPoint presentation on the link below:

PowerPoint Presentation – Diaspora Update Webinar 8 September 2021

Kind regards,

Diaspora Unit

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

  • “Takuba Lodge”
  • 254 South Road & Shiv Chanderpaul Dr.,
  • Georgetown, Guyana
  • +592 226-1606-8 ext. 249, 310, 342, 262

Guyana Min. of Foreign Affairs: Post Diaspora Conference – ZOOM Meeting- Sept 08. 2021 @ 11.00am EST

Webinar for Wednesday 8 September 2021 – 11:00AM EST
Agenda          Continue reading

NEW YORK: Governor Hochul faces first test in eviction moratorium special session

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New Yorkers call for the extension of eviction moratorium. – The Flatbush Tenant Coalitionher
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Governor Kathy Hochul will face  first test Wednesday at threading the needle between tenant activists calling for an extension of the moratorium for evictions and landlords saying the moratorium puts them on the hook to pay millions of dollars in taxes while not getting any rent.

Assemblyman Peter Abbate (D-Brooklyn) confirmed the State Legislature will hold a special session at noon on Sept. 1 in a deal to extend the moratorium, which expired Tuesday, Aug. 31 to probably January 2022.        Continue reading

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