March 25, 2010

Remittances should come with the strict condition that recipients improve their lot

By Stabroek staff | March 25, 2010 in Letters

Dear Editor,

Shawn Mangru’s letter of March 23, 2010 titled “It’s time to leverage the remittances for political change” provokes serious contemplation on the remittance issue. While some may balk at Mangru’s suggestion of using remittances for political purposes there is an underlying, potent argument for using remittances to force change in Guyana on a personal level. Remittances sent to Guyana should be accompanied by strict conditions to the recipients to take active steps to improve their lot to ensure (1) they eventually would not depend on the remittances and (2) would have sufficient skills, qualifications and financial foundation to migrate from Guyana if they chose to do so thereby breaking the chain of economic reliance.

Understandably, there are cases of elderly and handicapped individuals who unequivocally need the assistance provided by remittances but for the young, able and healthy, it is an entirely different matter. Demands for self-improvement must be made crystal clear. Break the cycle of dependency. Immigrants cannot be killing themselves to fund the enjoyment of the pleasures of the world in Guyana with no investment in self-development or self-improvement. If family members wish to migrate they could improve their situation to be able to do so.

There are many apertures for Guyanese who wish to leave to improve their lives and migrate using various self-sponsorship avenues in developed countries. If they are able to collect remittances then they should be capable of taking steps to improve their lives to be able to migrate if necessary to earn a remittance to help someone else in turn make a positive change.

It is time for a serious re-visiting of how we send our hard-earned money, for our actions are not unlike the multilateral institutions giving money to our corrupt politicians who squander same away. Tough love never hurt anyone.

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