Haitians are cooperating and progressing in different ways more than 50 years after arriving in Suriname. Marjorie Simon underlines that it is time for a fresh spin. She serves as the organization’s president, Organization d’Union Sociale des Haitiens à Suriname (OUSHS), which will assist in determining the community’s new course. At the celebration of 46 years of Haitian immigration on Saturday, the group was introduced to the public.
On July 14, 1977, the first Haitians landed in Suriname. They were employed on Marinburg, Commewijne’s sugar cane estates. The new generation is transitioning away from agriculture and into other industries. The OUSHS is an initiative of spiritual leaders and young people, supported by the Haitian consulate.
Vice President Ronnie Brunswijk is pleased with the step: “It is certainly good to join together as a group to strengthen mutual ties and to truly support each other. It is just as good if you integrate with other population groups. This is the only way we are working towards stronger unity in diversity.”
We have been there for almost 50 years,” notes OUSHS chairman Simon. “That in itself is a milestone. We have achieved a lot. In Suriname we are known as very active in the agricultural sector. But after almost 50 years, we think it is time for a new twist. Because we have developed in different sectors over the past 50 years. Not just the agricultural sector.”
Simon continues: “We have realized that there is sufficient potential in the Haitian community to make a significant contribution to the development of the country in other sectors. The OUSHS stands for the development of the Haitian community. We will carry out various projects where the entire community will reap the benefits. Especially the Haitian community. If we can deliver good productions, everyone benefits. It’s time for a change, time for a change for the Haitian community.”