Dec 08, 2013 News
…allegations of ill-treatment surface
Allegations of maltreatment of children at a popular Corentyne Orphanage are surfacing at a time when three teenage girls of the home are being held in the lock-ups at the Albion Police Station. The girls, 12, 14 and 15-years- old (names given) were arrested on November 20, 2013 for “wandering” away from the home, placed before the courts and sentenced to be institutionalized at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) in Essequibo where they are expected to be deployed shortly.
Magistrate Ravindra Singh made the ruling earlier last week at the court.
This has caused outrage from residents and concerned citizens in the Albion area, including one police officer, who spoke with this newspaper. According to reports, the girls are originally from Skeldon and have been at the home for over four years now. Two of them are sisters. They have no parents who are alive nor do they have any close relatives.
A resident of Albion slammed the administration of the orphanage. The administrators, the person claims, ill-treats the children on a regular basis and that this may have been the reason for the three girls leaving the home.
“The lady does sell out all them children thing. Like she ain’t really fit to run that home anymore, because she get old and she put responsibility on her daughter-in-law,” claimed the resident.
“There was a time when she grandson and son used to live with all the big girls—as soon as they become mature, they lived with these children them! Let them go and investigate!” the person stated.
“Three girls were going to commit suicide and they had to call the police—and these children break down! But they don’t talk—and the ill treatment!”
A police officer, who spoke to this newspaper, claimed, “She sells out the stuff too. A set of things coming in for her for Christmas and she selling them out—What you think she does when she goes to Canada and America? Her daughter-in-law and son going overseas with orphanage children money!”
The 12- year- old is a student of the Corentyne Comprehensive High School, while the 14- year- old attends Port Mourant Secondary. The 15- year- old does not attend school. Kaieteur News spoke to the teacher of the 12- year-old yesterday who is very concerned at the girls’ incarceration at the Albion Police Station.
The teacher, like many other concerned persons, is also concerned that the girls are being posted to the NOC, and is angry at the Magistrate not having Social Services becoming involved first in the matter.
The teacher is also concerned and wanted to know what the police considered wandering, since she claimed that the girls were just outside the gates of the home on November 20.
“I spoke to the [12- year- old] girl personally and the girl said sometimes she go to school without lunch and the teachers would have to buy lunch for her. We never knew the extent of her sadness. When she was absent, the teachers were trying to get in contact with the home but they were given the royal runaround, that there were two such homes in the county.”
The teacher wants the relevant authorities to launch an investigation into the operations at the home. “If someone can [only] go there and do an investigation or call upon the older and younger boys in that place, persons will know about the atrocities that go on in that place.”
But when contacted, Head of the home, (name given) denied all of the accusations.
“They [the three girls] ran away twice. They said nothing but that they wanted to leave!” she said. “It’s the second time they ran away, and I don’t want to keep them anymore…they want to sport at Skeldon…the Magistrate put them to go and learn something at girls school. We are too strict; we don’t allow them to walk on the road,” the Head said.
As for the allegations of ill-treatment, she said, “Well if the children say they are being ill-treated, they should come and find out from the rest of the children.”
Residents in the area are planning a protest in front of the home.
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