9th of January, 2022. Guyana, South AmericaLast updated: January 10, 2022 at 11:53 am
A young Guyanese woman who somehow ended up being trapped in a refugee camp in Syria has reached out this publication for help in raising awareness of her situation with the aim of engaging the government of Guyana and/or any influential Guyanese who is able and willing to help her to return home to Guyana.
The young woman, who identifies herself as Rafena Kumar, made contact with this publication on Friday, 7th of January, 2022 via our Facebook page and sent the following distress signal:
Good morning. I am a Guyanese citizen, and I am trapped in a refugee camp in Syria. I am asking for help to make my story heard by the government of Guyana. I want to come home with my 2 children. Please help me. Be my voice please….
In a telephone conversation with this publication last evening, 8th of January, 2022, Rafena explained that she was born at the Suddie Hospital and grew up in Riverstown on the Essequibo Coast, Region 2, Guyana, South America. After primary school, she studied at the Islamic School and later completed 4 years of training at the Guyana School of Nursing.
The problem is, when I entered Syria, it was under the control of ISIS. I tried to leave many times but that’s not possible because of reasons I don’t understand. I had moved to the next city that ISIS was not controlling and lived with the local people ever since. I have tried to return home many times but there is no flight to get out of Syria. I handed myself over to the Kurdish forces and was placed in the camp for repatriation, but the Kurds said that the Guyana government has to request for me to be sent back. I’ve been trapped here in the camp for 3 years.
Rafena explains that she now has two children aged 3 and 5 years old. The first one is Abdullah Abbasi, born on the 3rd of May, 2016, and second is Salhudeen Reitz, born on the 28th of August, 2018. She says that her living conditions are inhumane and she is worried for the future of her kids who are currently “being robbed of an education.”
The young woman gave this publication the WhatsApp contact of her mother and sister who are currently residing in Essequibo, Region 2, Guyana, South America as follows:
Mother – Bibi Faziela Kumar – (+592) 637-0131
Sister – Subrena Kumar – (+592) 694 1818
This publication spoke to the contact persons on the numbers listed above who confirmed that they are ready to validate Rafena’s story with the Guyana Government so that she can be brought home to Guyana.
Team Guyana, South America calls on the President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, the Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, the Minister of Human Services, Dr. Vinhhya Persaud, the Central Islamic Organization of Guyana, and any other person or entity who is in a position to assist, to investigate this matter and repatriate Rafena to her homeland.
8th of January, 2022 – We have been able to confirm that Rafena’s story is true from people in Guyana who knew her personally.