Home   >   Articles   >   Caribbean Community Mourns with Guyana Over Lives Lost in Tragic Fire

Caribbean Community Mourns with Guyana Over Lives Lost in Tragic Fire

by Lou-Ann Jordan May 23, 2023

Share this

On Sunday, 21 May, a fire broke out in a girls’ secondary school dormitory claiming the lives of 19 students and leaving nine hospitalised.

This tragedy in Guyana’s region eight has left the country and the wider Caribbean Community in mourning, with President Ali reportedly describing it as one of the “saddest days” in his life as president.  

Since then, three days of mourning have been declared, and expressions of sympathy and grief have poured in from around the region. On Monday, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) released a statement expressing condolences to the families and wishing the survivors a speedy recovery. Several governments in the region have also issued individual statements.

Barbados’ Prime Minster, Mia Mottley, describing the incident as a “tragedy beyond words”, also tweeted, “To @DrMohamedIrfaa1 and the people of Guyana, I offer my sincere condolences, and offer my support during this difficult time”.

Additionally, St. Lucia’s Minister of External Affairs, International Trade, Civil Aviation and Diaspora Affairs, Minister Hon. Alva Baptiste, voiced regret over the loss of lives and injuries resulting from the fire. Ms Baptiste underscored St. Lucia’s and the Caribbean community’s solidarity with the country.

Similarly, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell of Grenada empathised with the grieving families, stating, “Our hearts go out to the entire community of Mahdia, especially the families and loved ones who will be eternally affected by this devastating incident.”

As the condolences continue to pour from across the Caribbean and the diaspora, fundraising efforts for those seeking to offer financial and other means of support have been established, including a GoFundMe campaign initiated by former Minister of Parliament Lennox Shuman on behalf of the fire victims.

The fund is one avenue through which the public can offer aid to the families. Mr Shuman aims to raise CAD$100,000 for the fire victims. To donate, you can access the GoFundMe here.

Yello Media Group also sends its deepest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families affected by the fire in Mahdia.

Sources: CARICOM, Loop,  St. Lucia News Now, Stabroek News, The Office of the Prime Minister of Grenada.