– seeks assistance from corporate Guyana
Given their firm commitment to improving the lives of children across the globe, the International
Children’s Organisation, (ICO) is set to start construction on its first locally-based community centre, later this month. It is a not-for-profit organization founded by US- based Guyanese, Onica Charles.
Ms Charles, who migrated to the United States of America several years ago currently operates her own schools in the United States.
After graduating from Florida International University (FIU) and the Nova Southeastern University, the US-based Guyanese formed the ICO. The organistation is largely funded and supported by students from Colleges and Universities across the United States.
Charles said the current goal of ICO is to construct a neighbourhood children’s aid facility in Craig, East Bank of Demerara. According to the ICO founder, realizing the centre has been on the agenda since last year.
“As the Founder of International Children’s Outreach….I’m beyond excited to officially announce, ICO COMMUNITY CENTER-GUYANA will have its official ground breaking this month,” Charles announced via Facebook, last week.
Charles said that the organisation which is dedicated to improving the lives of children facing poverty throughout the world has been fuelled by fundraisers and donations, which assist in providing food supplies, healthcare equipment, school supplies, and other necessities.
According to Charles, monies have been raised through the ICO Alternative Breaks programme to complete the foundation and a portion of the children’s aid centre. However, she noted that the organisation will seek additional funding from corporate and individual sponsors to complete the centre. She said that the construction is set to begin in the third week of March.
“We will start additional campaigning to engage corporate and individual sponsors to complete the center,” she added.
The ICO founder noted that the community centre will be equipped with a computer lab, a library, a study room, a basketball court and a playground.
She said that the centre will offer full access to children to do their homework and internet research; a library with a cozy reading area where students can enjoy reading a book or utilize as a study room; where students can study without outside distractions.
Additionally, the facility will provide “hot meals and tutoring,” to children in the area.
Each year, ICO Alternative Breaks selects over a hundred locations, to send students across the world to perform direct services towards addressing many social issues affecting the global community.
The goal of Alternative Breaks is to create active citizens through education and involvement. Therefore, student volunteers have a better understanding of social issues.
“These issues range from poverty, health concerns, education, at risk youth, refugees, immigration, social justice, women’s rights, children’s health, animal rights, and homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transsexual, (LBGT) issues,” Charles said.
The programme also focuses on empowering students through diversity, education and leadership training to immerse them in diverse cultures and environments around the world to engage in service-oriented learning.
The programme has enabled students to not only impact community development but personal, growth and development as well.
To date ICO has initiated successful community-based outreach projects in Miami, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Canada.
The ICO also facilitates training and seminars on important topics including the significance of a well rounded education.
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