By Stabroek staff | Monday, March 26, 2012
Vulnerable persons are expected to benefit from a humanitarian village that will be constructed at Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne by the New Jersey Arya Samaj and its Guyana Chapter, the Guyana Central Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission.
According to a release from the Government Infor-mation Agency, street children, abused persons and elderly persons without families will be housed at the humanitarian mission village while single parents, teenaged mothers and school dropouts will be provided with skills training.
After the completion of construction, the humanitarian village will produce a technical/vocational education programme for accreditation with the Ministry of Educa-tion for empowerment, work towards the eradication of poverty through empowerment and education by making available competence-based skills for the village’s residents and school dropouts living in the nearby area; empower residents with personal development skills and reform them for positive contributions to society.
At the sod turning ceremony on Saturday, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, according to the GINA press release, expressed his appreciation towards the organization for efforts which he said complement the work of the government.
“In a world where we all find ourselves stretched to provide for our needs, the Samaj has embarked on a project to help the needs of the less fortunate… I challenge and encourage others to do what they could to meet the evidenced need of their community,” he stated.
Also addressing the gathering was Region Six Chair-man, David Armogan, who opined that persons living in the countryside are the ones mostly affected by societal ills and as a result, considered the location suitable.
“At the regional level, we are committed to such a project, as such whatever is necessary for us to do, we will do… other friendly societies, NGOs and social groups are welcomed to partner with the region to address societal problems,” Armogan stated.
Red Thread Representative, Karen De Souza, said that there will never be enough organizations addressing the needs of the less fortunate. “Whilst this initiative is impressive, we have to commit ourselves to being willing, bold and brave enough to speak out against societal issues… we need to call out the influential people to desist from abusing and taking advantage of the poor and those that are weak willed,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Webster, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, considered the sod turning for the construction of the village as historic in Guyana, and moreover for Region Six.
“The Samaj is a body we should be proud of for the humanitarian work they are doing and their initiative to fund a project that will help the less fortunate… government is committed to working with not only the Samaj but any other organization that is willing to become a partner as we must all join forces to rid society of age long societal ills,” Webster said.
She further stated that if these persons are denied access to services of support, society will rapidly deteriorate as these ills are on the increase.
“This is something that must be dealt with… we have seen increased efforts from the judiciary in dealing with matters of domestic violence and child abuse… however, many of our victims at the end of it all cannot face up to what happened to them, therefore the need for support,” the Human Service Minister pointed out.
United States Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission, Thomas Pierce considered the Arya Samaj and like organizations as indispensible and noted that they assist government by providing a number of social services which spur development.
Canadian High Commis-sioner, David Devine, expressed pleasure with the Samaj for not only this project but previous works, particularly in the area of humanitarian relief. He said that such selfless acts speak volumes and should not go unrecognized.
Also present, GINA said, was Guyana’s Consul General to Canada, Sattie Sawh, who said “we are witnessing the commencement of something that will have impact on thousands who stand to benefit… this project is significant as it cuts across religion and political and cultural identities as it will be opened for the betterment of all and it will not only be a place to have a meal or spend the night but it will also offer educational and skills training opportunities, which is exemplary”.