Jamaican farm workers praise donors after fire

ja ww3Jamaican farm workers  who lost all their belongings in a fire which  gutted their living quarters in  Brant Country, Ontario on July 28 last, have high praise for donors who came to their assistance.

After the fire,33 workers at Chary Produce, a fruit and vegetable operation in Mt. Pleasant, were left with just the clothes on their backs. But help was soon on the way and the men were able to return to work.

” We are so appreciative. Thank God for everything you all have done. Keep us in prayer,” Keron Russell, one of the workers who hails from Clarendon, told a team from the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) of Toronto who arrived on the farm on August 7 last, bringing donations  of food and clothing.

The team was headed by the JCA President Adaoma Patterson.

Jonathan Ross who has been on the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program for ten years, told The Caribbean Camera that he too was thankful for  the help provided by the JCA and  the farmer with whom he is currently employed.

Chary Produce donated money to the workers.

Ross who hails from Kingston, the Jamaican capital, said he lost a crate containing food, clothing and other items which he had planned to ship back home.

He and the other workers were in the field at the time of the fire.

Cause of the fire is said to be unknown.

Alton Brooks, the JCA director of communications who was on the team which visited the farm, reported that the JCA had  collected donations from Sai Dham Food Bank in Malton, which provided bags of rice, flour and other essential items.”And we are continuing to collect money, clothing and other items for the affected workers,.” he said.

Among personal effects lost in the fire were the passports of the workers.

But Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Services Shahine Robinson who met the workers last week, is reported to have given them the assurance that arrangements are being made for the fees for their new passports to be waived.