Salone Embassy in Washington DC repatriates stranded Sierra Leoneans


March 9, 2021

By PEL Koroma

Information Attaché,Embassy of Sierra Leone,Washington, D.C

Etta Findlay and her daughter Carlette Findlay arrived on the shores of Sierra Leone from Jamaica, West Indies, after a long social struggle. On January 22nd, a Caribbean Newspaper (Stabroek Newspaper) informed about a destitute national from Sierra Leone in Jamaica. Etta Findlay left Sierra Leone 22 years ago to study medicine in one of the reputable medical university in Cuba.

In her fifth year of her course, Etta fell in love with a Jamaican man and abandoned her studies when she moved to Jamaica to be with her boyfriend and later husband. They had a daughter Carlette who is now 20 years old.

According to Etta Findlay, the relationship unfortunately deteriorated leading to their separation, leaving Etta to face many challenges with no support system. She later found herself living in an unfavorable condition at a Church Yard in Jamaica.

After the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington DC got wind of a destitute from Sierra Leone in Jamaica, the Embassy was proactive by requesting a telephone conversation with Etta Findlay through the help of Faith Community Churches in Jaimaica.  The Head of Chancery, and the Diaspora Affairs Coordinator of the Embassy on the instruction of the Ambassador had a telephone discussion with Etta Findlay and her daughter Carlette. During the conversation, it was confirmed that Etta is a national of Sierra Leone. Etta appealed to the government of Sierra Leone through the Embassy in Washington DC for help to return home. The Embassy started the repatriation plan of Etta and her daughter, and contacted Dr, Rosalea Hamilton in Jamaica informing her about Etta’s sad situation in Jamaica. Dr. Rosalea Hamilton when informed about the matter, went to see Etta Finlay to assess the situation. She decided to move Etta Findlay and her daughter to her home.

In early February, the Embassy of Sierra Leone bought two Air Tickets for Etta Findlay and her daughter Carlette to be repatriated to Sierra Leone. Their medical bills for COVID -19 test were sponsored by the Embassy in Washington D.C. Being that Etta and her daughter Carlette were to transit in USA as there is no direct flight from Jamaica to Sierra Leone, a transit visa was required and it took a couple of days before it was finally settled, and Etta and her daughter Carlette were allowed to use USA route to Freetown- Sierra Leone. As a matter of safety, the Embassy of Sierra Leone dispatched one of their staff to accompany Etta Findlay and her daughter Carlette to Freetown.

The current government of Sierra Leone has tremendous interest in her overseas nationals. Etta’s desire to return home has materialized. Etta and her daughter Carlette have been presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Freetown.