January 18, 2013 By admin
By Vishnu Bisram
The New Jersey Arya Samaj plans to build a skills development training centre in Port Mourant, Berbice. It will be the first building to be constructed by the organisation overseas as part of its Humanitarian Mission Village project.The organisation has been involved in many humanitarian projects over the years in Guyana and has been doling out millions of dollars in this regard.The Port Mourant Skills Centre is being spearheaded by Pandit Suresh Sugrim, President of the New Jersey Arya Samaj. It is undertaken in collaboration with the Guyana Central Arya Samaj, government agencies and NGOs in North America and Guyana. Religious organisations in Canada are also assisting with the project. The goal is to complete the project by March 2014. The Skills Centre will be built on a 1.6-acre plot of land which was leased from the government of Guyana. Construction of this building is expected to commence in February 2013 immediately after the completion of the concrete fence which is currently under construction at an estimated cost of G$7 million. In a press release issued, the organisation stated that the project is being done in phases with Phase 1 being the fence, Phase 2 the Skills Development Centre, Phase 3 the benevolent home for seniors and Phase 4, a building to offer a safe haven for victims of gender-based violence and orphans. Phase 1 and 2 are estimated to cost US$150,000 of which US$100,000 has already been raised. “At this centre, youths and adults would be given an opportunity to learn various skills that will enable them to earn a living and so get themselves out of the cycle of poverty in which many youths and adults are caught up” said Pandit Suresh Sugrim. Pandit Sugrim noted the he embraces the philosophy of “teaching a man to fish rather than providing him a fish”. He said giving people a handout is a temporary solution to overcome poverty. “People should be trained to make a living on their own and once they have skills they won’t be dependent on anyone”.