The prospect of University of Guyana students being able to access sponsorship from Courts (Guyana) Inc. to help meet their tuition fee is certainly not an impossible one. At least this is according to Managing Director of the company, Mr. Clyde De Haas,
who told this publication that while the provision is not currently in place there is a likelihood that it could be brought into being. “There is always a possibility to look into whatever needs there are but we have not discussed that internally so we are not really prepared for that at the moment,” said De Haas in commenting on the matter recently.
He explained that currently the company’s sponsorship provisions, through its corporate social responsibility programme, does not cater to support on an individual basis but rather, at the level of the community and groups. “That’s where we currently put the emphasis…So at the moment I don’t see it (sponsorship for students) fitting in,” said De Haas.
But according to him, the company has over the years been lending immense support to the University in a number of other ways.
Among the programmes that have been able to benefit is the University’s library ‘Reading is Fun’ programme, De Haas noted. “Courts is proud to be on board with this programme for the past five years…we are here for the long haul,” said the Managing Director who pointed out that as part of the company’s continued effort to give back to the local society, it has been particularly lending support to literacy programmes for children.
“Our aim is to improve literacy, that is one of the objectives that we have, so we are very glad that we have organisations like the University of Guyana that are working in this field,” said De Haas.
He revealed too that support in this regard is also directed through the University of Guyana’s Rotaract Club. The Club, made up of University students and with support from Courts, has been able to offer extra lessons to children in need at Victoria, East Coast Demerara. “It is a very good programme being run there…I was privileged to be at a graduation ceremony two Saturdays’ ago and to see these children who normally would not have a chance but because of this additional programme, they were able to get a place at a secondary school,” disclosed De Haas.
“We are very proud when we see that children are getting a chance because of reading; because they get extra attention and get to spend more time reading,” outlined the Managing Director as he outlined how the support to these programmes are forthcoming.
According to him, because of customers’ support the company has been able to garner over the years, it is able to put aside money specifically to cater to its corporate social responsibility. Money, De Haas noted, is donated with the intention of helping the country’s children be better readers even as he pointed out that this is done in light of the fact that “everything starts with reading and if you can’t read you cannot understand.”
Funds, he said, are also plugged into community development works that aids the improvement of facilities within communities in varying ways. This, according to him, could entail the addition of a library to a community centre which children can access so that they can improve themselves.
Such facilities, according to the Managing Director, have also been instrumental in aiding adult education as well. “Housewives, or people who want to start their own business can learn simple tricks of the trade – sewing classes, cooking classes or even computer classes if they want to start up little businesses…that is all part of our corporate social responsibility,” said De Haas, who was at the time addressing a gathering on Tuesday in the auditorium of the University of Guyana’s Learning Resource Centre.
But the support of Courts, he informed, is certainly not limited to addressing improved literacy as the company has also been directing financial aid to health care. This, he disclosed is offered through the Rotary Club which helps to distribute starter kits to mothers who can ill-afford to meet such needs on their own after delivery. “These are the kind of programmes we are looking to sponsor,” De Haas asserted.
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