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Joylyn Farias is a poor, honest, hardworking, humble traditional subsistence farmer and indigenous Makushi mother of 5, who lives on a fluctuating agrarian income (many quality Cassava products and by-products are being produced by indigenous farmers but recent drastic changes in the weather are disrupting production and sales) in Nappi Village, in Region 9 of the Central Rupununi region of Guyana, in a house, she and her husband of 16 years - Paul Farias - had built from scratch with their combined modest life savings, it is a picturesque native village nestled at the foot of the mighty and majestic Kanuku mountains. The shocking tragedy that occurred to her and her innocent children you will read about below - is the kind of nightmare scenario no parent expects to ever befall them, however, her nightmare has not yet ended as no private or public sector government entity has as yet offered to help the traumatized family in any way (except Trans Guyana Airways, a private company that her husband Paul works for, which gave the couple and their children free seats to travel to Georgetown and back - to seek medical attention after the tragedy) despite her many attempts for aid, the Village Council is financially unable to assist, and the Regional Democratic Council/RDC also claimed to be unable to help her in any way, even though others who hitherto experienced sudden tragedies have received financial assistance from the RDC before.

Mother Joylyn Farias

Grandfather at left - former Chief of St Ignatius Village Ernest Farias, and son Paul - husband of Joylyn and father of their 5 children

There was a freak severe storm on the night of 4th October 2020 in Nappi Village, Makushi Tribal Nation Territory, in Region 9, Guyana, South America. Around 10.15 pm Joylyn was home alone without her husband's presence at the time, and putting the 5 children to sleep (Andre 14, Ceria 11, Mentor 9, Liana 7, Cornor 5, and Maliki 2), when a flash of lighting made mother Joylyn peer out the window - and then she noticed the storm seemed to be heading down the mountainside right for her home, as her next nearest neighbors house was over 200 meters (over 600 feet) away.

The wind began to howl ominously, the lightning was flashing, and the roof began to lift off the house walls slightly, it did this 6 times, Joylyn told her children to hide under the bed for safety, the 2 older children did as told, but when the thunder began to crack and it was so loud that it sounded like someone was exploding dynamite on top of the thin metal sheet roof, this threw the 3 youngest children into absolute fear-driven panic and terror - and instead of them hiding under the bed with their 2 older siblings, the youngest 3 children ran screaming and scrambled into their hammocks (which were tied to the lifting roof) - and covered themselves up in the cloth-like cocoons, thinking they would be safe.

Before their frantic mother Joylyn could unwrap them and lift them out of their hammocks one by one - and safely hide them under the bed, on the 7th and final occasion of roof lifting, a sudden roar of wind lifted the entire roof high up into the pitch blackness of the merciless stormy night sky...leaving mother Joylyn standing in shock, helplessness, and pure terror - watching her 3 babies disappear into the night, with tears flowing she screamed at the top of her lungs for help from God, then she heard a loud thud outside, the roof had turned 180 degrees in the air and landed - with her children still in their 3 hammocks - roof first on the ground, with the children on top, thankfully not underneath the metal sheet roof, or all 3 of the children would have been killed. All their traumatized mother could do was rush over to them and rescue them one by one out of the still raging elements - the driving rain, the howling wind, and the lightning strikes that hit ever closer - all around her.

Daybreak the next day on 5th October 2020, revealed the extent of the devastation, as during the night the walls had fallen too, the humble home that Joylyn and her husband Paul had painstakingly built with their own sweat by hand for themselves and their children to live in, was now in heaps of rubble.

At left you can see the infamous roof

A Trans Guyana Airways aircraft that services the interior regions of Guyana.

Her youngest two sons Cornor (5) and Maliki (2) were miraculously unharmed, but youngest daughter Liana was not so fortunate, something was clearly wrong with her physically, so the family was flown to Georgetown (thanks to the kind donation of free seats both ways from husband Paul's employer of the past 2 years - Trans Guyana Airways) as soon as possible after the event, and they went to Woodlands private hospital because they were told that a bone specialist was there.

Indeed the bone specialist did casually examine Liana (because the poor couple could not afford x-rays because the cost to have a head x-ray alone is US$475, to x-ray each leg is US$425, spine US$425, hands US$425, and the cost for an operation that the bone specialist suspects that Liana needs, is a whopping US$12,500.00 to a family who's sole steady source of income is from daddy Paul alone who only makes US$500 per month! HOW COULD HE EVER AFFORD TO GET THE HELP HIS DAUGHTER NEEDS - WITHOUT THE HELP OF SOMEONE ELSE? Besides her fractured knee, The Bone Specialist told the couple to closely monitor the child, because he suspected that Liana may have received a head or neck injury that is causing her to experience periodic but frequent partial paralysis of her right side arm and leg, with little Liana constantly complaining of neck pain; but what no doctor can as yet explain are the still continuing bouts of fever, which have sometimes lasted 3 days, with no apparent viral or bacterial vector causing it.

The next appointment the couple was given for Liana to be medically examined - was incredibly March 8th, 2022, I'm no doctor - but that seems too long a wait, as Liana's condition will assuredly have worsened in the many intervening months from 4th October 2020 to March 8th, 2022!

7-year-old victim - daughter Liana Farias

For the past 11 months (weather permitting), parents Joylyn and Paul Farias have been trying to rebuild their house piece by piece, little by little, as their meager incomes allow, and they have been able to rebuild the foundation and walls completely because bricks are made locally by hand in the village, but windows and a metal roof (which although not as cool as a traditional leaf roof, lasts longer and harbors fewer insects, snakes, and bats - than a leaf roof), and these are imported items that can only be purchased in cash in the nearest city of Lethem (estimated to be US4,000 in materials, transportation to complete the house windows and roof stronger than it was before), and the couple is still living in neighbors home and struggling to make ends meet as it is already. THEY NEED HELP FROM THE RELEVANT AUTHORITIES IN GUYANA - AND THEY NEED IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

In this regard, on 4th September 2021, in a last ditch effort to receive the help they desperately need, father Paul Farias was on duty at the Lethem Airstrip when His Excellency, the Honorable Irfran Ally, President of the Republic of Guyana, was passing through, and Paul was able to give this heartfelt letter below from his wife Joylyn - directly into the hands of the President himself, so the family WAS full of hope that His Excellency will take the 3 minutes required to actually read it, and then send it to the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, where field officers such as Mr Orlando Shuman (a Lokono-Arawak of St. Cuthberts Mission in Region 4) who is as yet unaware of this case, but who nevertheless has earned the trust and confidence of the indigenous inhabitants of Region 9 -where he is well known, liked and respected UNLIKE MINISTER SUKHAI WHO HAS MORE SCANDALS TO HER NAME THAN ANY PREVIOUS AMERINDIAN AFFAIRS MINISTER IN GUYANA'S HISTORY - for his compassion and professionalism, and it is hoped that Orlando will be tasked by the Minister to look into the matter personally, and expeditiously write a report of concrete forms of immediate assistance which the Government of Guyana can provide to this poor Amerindian family, who have suffered - and continue to suffer, a never ending nightmare that was mercilessly and randomly inflicted upon them - 20 months ago. BUT TO THIS DAY AS OF 14 JUNE 2022 NO HELP HAS COME FROM THE GUYANA GOVERNMENT TO THIS POOR INDIGENOUS FAMILY.

The letter from a mother with nowhere else to turn for help - to the President of Guyana.

Paul Farias at left showing the author (Damon Corrie) photos of his family's devastated life - which inspired this article. I am happy that I was able to give the family GY$20,000 to help, but that's just a small part of what they really need to save their daughter.

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