Stranded Ghanaian students in Cuba forced to sell personal belongings to make a living

Stranded Ghanaian medical students in Cuba have resorted to selling their belongings to raise money to feed themselves.

The students say this is the only option left for them now since government has failed to pay them their allowances for over nine months.

The students say they are unable to buy food, clothes and undertake their research works and other important needs. 

About 250 students left Ghana for Cuba in 2012 to study in different fields of medicine with scholarship from the government.

One of them who only identified himself as Enoch, called into Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, and expressed frustrtaion at the situation as well as calling for urgent help.

‘Those who don’t have parents to be sending them money  will have to be borrowing from friends some are doing business between ourselves, if you have something you think you can sell to someone or someone will buy, you sell. If you have enough dresses you think someone will buy a new trousers, new shirt anything…’.

The situation is such serious that ” six students are sharing one soap and [tooth] paste”.

“It is shameful,” he said.
According to him, they are unable to go out to find jobs because their passports were taken from them “for safe keeping” by authorities at the Ghanaian Embassy since their arrival in that country in 2012.

“We’ve had several meetings with the embassy and the only thing they tell you is that they’ve not received any money from the government..Our passports have been taken [from us]…so you can only get your passport to travel when you are going back to Ghana,” he said.

“There are so many of us who even want to stop the course and come back, [to Ghana]’ one of them students told Joy News earlier.

About 250 students left Ghana for Cuba in 2012 to study in different fields of medicine with scholarship from the government. 

The students were selected from deprived areas across the country and are to stay in Cuba for six years. While in Cuba the government was expected to pay each student $250 dollars every month for their up keep.

However, government has failed to support the students as it promised causing them to resort to other forms of making income to support themselves.

Earlier this year news broke about the arrest of some three students for allegedly robbing a hotel in Cuba. The students said they undertook the robbery due to frustrations after several attempts to get in touch with the government proved futile.

[Posted by JTM]

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