BVI News


Bad treatment causing many to shun relief – Dr Simmons

Dr Sylvia Simmons. [BVI News Online Photo)

Bad treatment at relief distribution centres set up by the government across the territory is causing many needy residents to look to alternate sources for help, according to local charity organization, Family Support Network (FSN)

“We have a lot of clients who have lost their jobs, and they walking around [trying] to get supplemental foods and the way the people talk to them, it is so embarrassing that they are not going back,” Dr Sylvia Simmons, who is the Executive Director of FSN said.

According to her, the claim is being uttered by many who turn up at FSN’s new location at the Aeropost building in Road Town looking food and other much-needed supplies.

According to her, FSN is finding it increasingly difficult to help many of those turning up, as it too was hit hard by the hurricane which caused structural damage to its office space.

Concern for Abused

“Our biggest concern is those victims [dealing] with spousal abuse, and trying to find accommodations for them during this difficult time,” said Dr Simmons.

She explained that many buildings that were once used as “safe house” for persons seeking refuge from abusive spouse have been destroyed by hurricanes.

“They find themselves having to stay where they are because there is no way to go. It makes them very frustrated as well as for us not being able to house someone in need for their own safety.”

In the meantime, the FSN Executive Director said the charity is lending assistance to several persons who have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed.

“You have some persons that, if they haven’t lost their jobs, their salaries have been cut back. Most people we have been speaking to average income right now is $700 to $800 a month and we know that is not going to be feasible for them.”


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  1. Smoke..... says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

    This is so sad to hear and needs to be addressed immediately….but this was bound to happen with government involved!

  2. SMH says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 1

    These unempathetic individuals need to be removed from assisting at these Distribution or Resource Centers. Some people need to be more mindful of the way they are talking too or treating others when they are in distress.

  3. Heartless says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Bad treatment isn’t enough to describe the way some people are being treated. My boss laying us off without any pay but he can find money to buy trucks LOL life in the BVI. So,to add to my stress I’m now a single parent without a job and no pay SMH

  4. Ms wize says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

    I endorsed smh. The undisetiables need to be removed from the distribution centers. U witness this first hand. I worked there and I made my first day my last day. People are in distress, they need to speak to them with empathy n respect. People react to stress differently. One must always be mindful of that. Get rid of the undisiriables

  5. Truth says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    At some churches too. They won’t go there.

  6. Fluffy says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    It is not just under the tents and the distribution centers alone. These people are of the opinion that these things that giving for aid came from their PERSONAL supplies.Trust me it is safer dealing with Family Support Network. Because if they can’t help right away, trust me they will follow up.

  7. Yea yea says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

    Same thing going on in vg, apart from the insults, they are very mean with the stuffs…most of them know you very well and they still want you to bring your kids inorder to get some groceries for the family, they telling you ” your kids big enough to come for their own food..secondly civil servants are given first preference…guess the government aint paying them..after they choose the best things that are being offered..we the senior citizen and unemploy get what’s leftover…it should be first come first serve..not no damn nurses and teacher who can’t stand inline because they have to go back on the job.

  8. MERCY says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    The following persons need only apply caring,humble,and persons with a good and kind heart

  9. Things to talk says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    At one distribution center in VG they are telling you things like you need to go in the shops and buy your supplies. Some of house have no house no jobs and it is depressing to want to go to this center because of the treatment that is received. They are also giving individual with large families six small bottles of water or a gallon bottle. Sometimes when u leave the items that they did give you isn’t enough to full up a plastic shopping bag but when the workers themselves leaving they have like three and four bags filled to the point that they want to overflow. Something definitely needs to be done. Like they want people to resort to stealing to be able to survive.

  10. I agree says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Miss Simmons is true , in VG the faces of some of the worker alone will make you feel like running. They getting on like they brought the food and you begging them. I understand they have to monitor the food. If next Monday is the last. With all the food I saw what are they going to do with it.

  11. Just one. says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    And more is them know u be Spanish 🙁

  12. Hmmm says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    When you go to sign up for stuff in of them tell us the super market selling garbage bags and we must go and buy..imagine ppl loose their jobs and can hardly survive..muchless to buy garbage bag..the insults are terrible.

  13. Change says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    from the comments here it seems like in VG the bad treatment is really worst. I pray that these ruthless people change their ways

  14. VG Mrs. says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    The people working at the Centre in VG seems to be all Government Employees who seem not to care about no one and just putting in their hours just to make sure they get their DELAYED byt SURE paycheque, with no care for those who have no income. I go in the line still and I watch no face because at the end of the day i prefer to get in line for food for my family that to ever have to ask ANYONE a them for ANYTHING!! the stuff came in for the people and i am part of that so i go for my share.

  15. BVIslander Abroad says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    As one of the many BVIslanders abroad collecting relief supplies to send home, these reports are greatly distressing. Incompetence and a lack of integrity are turning a disaster into a catastrophe. How can I in good conscience, ask people to make a sacrifice and donate to aid the people in the BVI, when there seems to be such blatant mismanagement and corruption?

    Most people don’t choose to flush their money down the toilet and reports of such mismanagement and corruption will surely dissuade people from donating. My heart hurts for the people of the BVI. They were victims of a terrible natural disaster about which they could do nothing, but they are now being victimized all over again by people that lack conscience and integrity.

    I am totally disgusted to hear of such despicable behavior on the part of my BVI people…I thought we were better than this. I hope that the people will not forget, but that they will speak up and demand that all those who have conducted themselves in such a despicable manner during this disaster (from captain to cook) be held accountable.

  16. Disappointed... says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    I can’t speak for Tortola or any other island in the BVI. There are 3 sides to every story…yours,mine and the TRUTH. First of all the distribution center on VG is not government run, everything that you see going on is due to the tireless efforts of volunteers, their networks and generous private donors. EVERYONE was affected by Hurricane Irma..not just those in the lines…the persons serving you have personal tragedies and loss as well. Yes! Some of them demonstrated antics and attributes that were not desirous and fitting enough for certain areas (such as dealing directly with people). These individuals were reassigned or removed. The system is not perfect but they try their best, they are not trained for this.

    Now to some of you who are here complaining… To begin with, Erik Huber and Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour graciously allowed the relief effort, including the distribution center, to operate out of the village center…at no cost. Their generators provided electricity that allowed countless persons the chance to charge their phones, tablets etc… one of ways you have shown your appreciation has been to litter all over the property. The same places you sit and stand in line…you eat and leave your trash there. Oh wait…you providing a jobgood for a volunteer right? A gentleman from Puerto Rico brought over 500 meals from Popeye’s chicken for you the people of VG…the place was littered with them after this. I agree that sometimes the stuff might not be a lot but it is something. With approximately 3000 persons on VG and everyone affected it is an insanely enormous task to assume the responsibility to help EVERYONE. Not all but so many of you go there with your disrespect and attitudes of entitlement and gross ingratitude. Yes some volunteers didn’t know how to deal with people and like I said were removed. BUT Some of you aren’t the easist to deal with either…the verbal abuse you hurl at the ones trying to help you…the comments you make about expats, why they don’t go home, they making things harder…come thon! The government did nothing and you complain…others do and you still complain BUT not one of you even ever pick up a broom to sweepbe where you unwillingly congregate everyday…not one of you volunteer a day to help…and even if they didn’t need help inside…you could have cleaned up outside. The ladies in distribution set up a special section for seniors and service seniors twice a week even sending deliveries to their homes if they cannot come…so don’t lie and say they treat seniors bad! Talk about the greed and selfishness that so many displays, they way you demand the brand of things you want and don’t want…and you are offended when you are advised to source it elsewhere?
    Like I said it is not perfect but it is NO WAY AS BAD ON VG AS YA’LL SAYING…God don’t like ugly and karma is a [email protected]$ch! Nothing lasts forever…food must run out and distribution will end…hope YOU have a plan

  17. Iman says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Irma didn’t teach the people of these islands anything but more hurricane to come. I have traveled and work throughout the caribbean. I would vote the locals of the BVI the most bad mind and corrupt set of people. I dont meant every single one. They’re good locals also.

  18. DISGUST says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    Trust me…. VG is bad…I experienced it first hand ….nothing but Hogs and Pigs at those distribution centers in VG….dont try to cover it up …because of that I never went back.

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