Over the past few weeks, the Guyana Foundation has continued its work on various fronts to bring tangible relief to communities in need. Urgently-needed items were recently distributed to residents of Phillipai, Region 7, and Soesdyke, East Bank Demerara, while the Foundation has also announced plans to launch its first Sunrise Center on the Essequibo Coast to improve the mental well-being of vulnerable residents.
On April 26, 2016, several hundred pieces of new clothing were handed-over to the remote community of Phillipai, Region 7, by one of the Foundation’s volunteers, Mr. Neil Bacchus. This donation was accepted by Village Councilor, Mr. Jack Edwin, on behalf of residents who turned up in their numbers at the Phillipai airstrip to witness the handing-over. Also present were representatives of the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs who facilitated this activity, and who the Foundation will be collaborating with to conduct thirty-six similar distributions in communities across Regions 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9.
Meanwhile, volunteers of the Foundation successfully spearheaded a drive to provide clothing, footwear, food items, books, toys, and dental supplies to 60 families in the Soesdyke area. These items were handed-over to the beneficiaries at a simple distribution exercise held at the Soesdyke Wesleyan Church on April 30, 2016. Several volunteers – Deborah, Earl, Jenni, Malini, Kathleen, Swastika and Hafraz – were on site to oversee the distribution to the grateful residents.
This drive was supported by donations from Food for the Poor, Sterling Products Limited, the Bernice Mansell Foundation, Caring Fathers, Global Grins, and various members of the public who gave generously towards the identified beneficiaries.
The Foundation has also announced that in a few weeks’ time, it will open the doors to its first Sunrise Center in Zorg-En-Vlyght, Essequibo Coast. This Center will offer a structured program consisting of skills-training, holistic wellness activities, and various mental health support services for vulnerable residents, free of cost. It is anticipated that these activities will collectively improve the mental well-bring of beneficiaries, help nurture healthy relationships, and build resiliency to cope with various life challenges.
Managing Director of the Foundation, Anthony Autar, explained that “while the Foundation has invested significant resources in the area of mental health over the years - commissioning studies, bringing in qualified professionals to conduct outreaches and various training workshops, etc. - we want to do more because we know that the most effective and sustainable form of intervention happens at the community and individual levels, where lasting relationships can be built to help people get through difficult days.”
“After carefully considering the local needs and our resources, we concluded that we can make the greatest impact through community-based centers that are located in areas easily accessible to vulnerable individuals. Our vision is that these centers will provide hope for the future to participants so they would want to see another sunrise. As such, we chose the name “Sunrise Centers.” We are very encouraged by the support we have received from our donors, and have already been able to secure a significant amount of funding through the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman and the Aall Foundation. Members of the public who would like to learn more about this project and how they can assist are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website at www.guyanafoundation.com.”
Autar was also eager to highlight the key role of the Foundation’s volunteers in all these recent activities. “As an organization with a very small staff, we depend on our volunteers to assist in the implementation of our various projects. We are most grateful for the support we continue to receive from them. Their dedication and commitment to our mission gives us great hope that together, we can continue to change lives and bring meaningful improvement to our fellow Guyanese in need.”