Father's Day Gift: Sebastien, Rosena and Amaika Arrived Safely with YOUR Help!
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(NOTE: Wonderful news!!!! We are overjoyed and incredibly grateful to share the news that Rosena, Amaika and Sebastien have arrived in Canada. Temporary Resident Permits were finally issued and the plane from Haiti landed in Canada the evening of June 19.
This could not have happened without your support – the petition signed by 14,000 people, writing letters, making phone calls, joining the chain fast, sharing our social media posts, contacting MPs, and so much more. It is in no way an exaggeration to say that with your help their lives have been saved. )
In the meantime, we will be keeping this petition open so people can learn more about this very public case, because this family has not been alone in facing barriers to reunification. There are many more still suffering from separation. Read our full update in the update sections below)
Issue Temporary Resident Permits to Allow Kids to Come to Canada with Their Father!
Note - donations on this site do not go to Sebastien and Marie Paule.
A Canadian citizen, Sebastien DeMarre, and his two daughters (Amaika, 8, and Rosena, 12) are in a life-and-death situation as Covid-19 spreads through Haiti. Sebastien, aged 69, is in very poor health, and his wife, Marie Paule Brisson, 71, has been unable to return to Haiti from an earlier visit home to Canada due to the pandemic.
Sebastien is alone caring for their two daughters. If Sebastien contracts the virus, it would be almost impossible for him to get medical care. The girls would be left alone, as they have no relatives and no friends in a position to help.
(The presence Covid-19 in Haiti is particularly alarming given the fragility of the national health care system, a low inventory of personal protective equipment, ventilators and the lack of hospital intensive care beds. Indeed, the BBC reports: "Haiti is the most vulnerable nation in the Americas to the coronavirus." )
Sebastien and Marie Paule, from Nelson, BC, have been living in Haiti since shortly before the 2010 earthquake. They did emergency relief work after the quake and during the cholera epidemic. They stayed on in Haiti in order to care for their two adopted children. Amaika, age 8, and Rosena, 12, were abandoned and neglected by their birth parents and in very poor health when Sebastien and Marie Paule took on caring for them approximately 7 and 9 years ago, respectively, rescuing them from almost certain death. The girls are now healthy, fluent in French and Kreol, and well schooled.
Sebastien is eligible to be on a repatriation flight to Canada but has not been able to obtain permission for the children to accompany him. He cannot abandon the girls.
An application for temporary resident permits has been sent to Ottawa. These permits are designed for emergencies like this, and can be issued in the space of less than one day. We have been pushing for this since April 8. But with every day that goes by, the risk increases to Sebastien and his daughters.
Canadian authorities must act now to grant temporary resident permits to Rosena and Amaika, so that these children and their father can come to Canada during the crisis.
There are many precedents of temporary resident permits being granted for children in similar circumstances. The urgency of the health crisis posed by the pandemic in this case should be acted upon immediately.
We appreciate the Canadian government's extensive efforts to repatriate tens of thousands of people from abroad. Please help save this family from an increasingly desperate situation.
Read an article about the family's situation at https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/05/20/canadian-senior-struggles-to-care-for-foster-daughters-in-haiti-amid-covid-19.html
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