The Guyana Foundation would like to express thanks to the Media for highlighting our work over the past year, 2017 and wishes you and your families all the best for 2018. We appreciate your interest in everything that we have been doing and look forward for your continued support.
We are pleased to present to you some of our work over the past year, those activities being as follows:
1. After-school mentorship and homework assistance for students of Zorg-en-Vlygt and Queenstown on the Essequibo Coast; 68 students were tutored through this program mainly in the areas of literacy and numeracy.
2. Donations of clothing, foodstuff and hygiene products to Amerindian settlements up the Pomeroon River and villages on the East Coast of Demerara, such as Breezy Point aback of Buxton.
3. Community leaders dialogues with religious groups, governmental agencies, non-government organizations.
4. Outreaches in various communities on the Essequibo Coast disseminating information to residents on mental health and other social issues. Promoting holistic wellness with mothers of the adolescent pre-natal clinic at Charity and Dartmouth health Centers. Some of these sessions were partnered with the Ministry of Social Protection, mostly in the Lower and Upper Pomeroon River.
5. Workshops on women’s empowerment in Zorg-en-Vlygt and Bartica reaching a total of 47 persons.
6. Two mental health workshop with 52 cadets of the Richard Fickal Police College on how to understand the signs of suicidal ideation.
7. Activities on Child Sexual Abuse Awareness in collaboration with the Childcare and Protection Agency.
8. Outreaches to the elderly and disabled individuals, providing psychosocial, nutritional and health counseling and physiotherapy. Activities to honor the Elderly during the month of October in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection and talks to members of the disable community in recognition of disability week.
9. The formation of a Kids Club to assist young children to learn the importance of hygiene in health and expressive art to unlock mental health issues. Through this, each child was given the opportunity to express his/her feelings; 32 children participated in this programme.
10. Children Summer Camp for 10 days with adolescents ages 12-18 and children ages 6-11, reaching a total of 84 children.
11. Fundraising activities on the Essequibo coast where the Scotiabank logo was used as a contributor to our work.
12. A weekly television programme on RCA TV Channel 8 in order to reach out to communities with information on mental health and other social issues.
13. The historic signing of an MOU between the Guyana Foundation and the University of Medical Sciences of Ciego De Avila in Cuba for conferences to be held annually dealing with mental health issues. The first conference was held in 2016 with the second being held between 17th - 19th January 2018 in Cuba. The University will train mental health counsellors we select from villages in Region #2 where we work. This will be done gratis except the air travel to Cuba for those selected. There is a shortage of mental health professionals in Guyana where only 5 psychiatrist are available to service the entire population. The terrain is vast and, therefore, many are without access to mental health support.
14. We graduated 92 participants in the following areas of Catering, Cosmetology, Fabric Designing, Electrical Installation, Tailoring & Dress Making and Computer Repairs and Maintenance.
15. Mental Health workshop with (75) health care providers from the Essequibo Coast, Pomeroon River, Capoey, Mashabo, Mainstay and Tapakuma Lakes and Bethany.
To date, our Managing Director of the Sunrise Center, Mrs. Miriam Roberts-Hinds has been instrumental in her effort to counsel and assist many victims of attempted suicide, domestic violence and various forms of abuse, that number being 163 persons.
The Guyana Foundation have established a craft shop, “Hand Made With Love”, in the Cayman Islands in order to assist us with funding for some of our projects. The Wai Wai people all the way in Region #9, with more orders expected soon, has completed our first order of craft.
Our activities received wide press coverage in Guyana through the print and electronic media as well as international. The BBC recently visited to do a documentary. Aljazeera invited us on a panel discussion on suicide in Guyana. The Economist UK published an article on our work. The World Weekly published an article on suicide highlighting our efforts. Prensa Latina Cuba, released video on our submission to the last conference on suicide in Guyana. Mr. Haimraj Hamandeo, our Senior Counsellor at the Sunrise Center was invited to attend the BABCP Annual Conference on Mental Health in the United Kingdom, (see link http://www.babcp.com/files/CBT-Today/cbt-today-september-2017.pdf), in July 2017, whereby our participation was publicized in the CBT Today, the official magazine of the British Association for Behavioral & Cognitive Psychotherapies.
This work could not have been possible without the funding from the Scotia community program and other donors. We would like to thank all of them for giving us the opportunity to make a difference. We look forward to continued collaboration this year.
Supriya Singh-Bodden, CCH
Tuesday 16th January 2018