With the aim of ensuring that every child acquires a sound education, an International Children’s Organisation (ICO) based in the United States is slated to commence a series of education outreach programmes locally.
The non-profit organisation based in Florida was founded by Guyanese -American, Onica Charles.
Charles, who spent her early school years in Guyana, migrated to the United States of America several years ago and “managed to make something of herself.”
After graduating from Florida International University (FIU) with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations and the Nova Southeastern University with a Masters in Public Administration, Charles was hired as an Administrative Officer for the city of Sunrise FL. USA, where she developed programmed based budgeting for the city.
She thereafter formed the group, which is supported by students from Colleges and Universities across the United States.
Charles said that ICO is dedicated to improving the lives of children facing poverty throughout the world.
Through fundraisers and donations, the organization also assists in providing food supplies, healthcare equipment, school supplies, and other necessities.
ICO also facilitates training and seminars on important topics including the significance of a well rounded education. The non-profit organization is undertaking the construction of a massive children’s aid center in Craig on the East Bank of Demerara.
“The community center will be equipped with a computer lab, which students will have full access, to do their homework and internet research. They will have a library with a cozy reading area where students can enjoy reading a book and a study room, where students can study without any outside distractions.”
Additionally, Charles noted that the center, which will be funded by the International Children’s Outreach, will also provide free tutoring to children who need it.
“Not only that, but every day the center will provide a hot meal for children within the community, because nutrition plays a vital role in our daily lives and without the proper nutrition children simply cannot focus on learning.”
The young philanthropist said the center will have a basketball court and a playground so the children have additional activities to part take in.
“After all, they need a well-balanced life. The community center will be free for anyone who needs the service,” she added.
While the organization is determined to have the facility up and running at any cost, the founder is seeking assistance from Guyana’s private sector in serving, for now, the children on the East Bank Demerara corridor.
According to the organization’s Director of Public Relations, Rehana Ahamad, the non-profit organization is hoping to build more centers here in Guyana, but the input of the local private sector is much needed.
Ahamad noted that educating the youth is perhaps the only way of alleviating poverty from our society.
On Saturday August 23,the group will be hosting its first fun day and community outreach at Grove, East Bank Demerara, where children can receive their free ‘back to school’ supplies. (Rehanna Ramsay)
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