….still seeking sponsors for Children’s Aid Centre
The volunteers of the International Children’s Outreach (ICO) were at it again over the past week, spreading Christmas cheer to the girls at Saint Ann’s Orphanage located on Thomas Street in Georgetown.
It was all fun and smiles as the volunteers not only cooked for the children, but played with them in a fun house, bounced with them on a trampoline and made gingerbread houses.
Plus, all 42 of the girls were presented with gifts, signalling the start of what might very well be a joyous holiday season.
Chief Executive Officer of ICO, Florida-based Guyanese Onica Charles, said that the organization does an annual Christmas fun day in the United States, but as of recent, many of the programmes and outreaches are being extended to her home country.
ICO, she noted, has big plans for Guyana come 2015. In March, a group of 12 volunteers from the University of California, San Diego will be coming here. This visit will see local families benefitting from a number of community outreach programmes.
In an effort to have Guyanese benefit from the same services provided in the US, Charles is in the process of putting together a board of directors for an ICO-Guyana chapter to be registered here.
Over the past few years, ICO has successfully executed several developmental programmes in Guyana. This includes giving the Diamond Diagnostic Centre a facelift, donating food hampers to families in need at Grove and Craig on the East Bank of Demerara, installing a fully equipped library in the Primary School of that community and renovating the playground of the nursery institution.
Additionally, the ambitious young woman is working assiduously to have a children’s aid centre set up along that corridor. This facility will be equipped with a library and study room overseen by a fully qualified tutor. It will also provide underprivileged children with counselling, along with the often overlooked, but sometimes much needed hot meals and school supplies. They will also have access to a recreational facility.
The aim of this centre is to provide less fortunate children with the same opportunities as those coming from more privileged backgrounds. Charles noted that the foundation is still looking for local sponsors to come on board and make the venture become a reality, at least by the end of 2015.
Persons wanting to make donations to this and other programmes, can visit the entity’s website at www.icocharity.org.
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