Sep 14, 2015 News
Effective projects bring a wide range of benefits to youths, families and communities. Whether they be academics, health and fitness, disease awareness or agricultural programmes – they help to boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviours, promote physical health and provide a safe, structured environment.
One such project is ‘The Sophia Promise’, which was founded by Courts (Guyana) Inc and implemented by the Rotary Club of Georgetown, Central (RCGC), two years ago.
Sophia is known as one of the largest squatting settlements converted into a housing scheme. Residents of the densely populated community have been benefiting from various aspects of the project since it came into existence.
Chairman of the Pattensen Community Centre, Colin Marks, said that the project has been tremendously beneficial to residents.
Marks, in highlighting this, said that the Literacy and Phonics lessons have been assisting Grade Five students from the Sophia Primary School, as preparation for the Secondary Schools Entrance Examination (SSEE).
He added that since the implementation of the project there have been major improvements in the students’ reading and comprehension skills.
Marks added that the last lesson sessions were held earlier this year with SSEE candidates. The sessions are free and students are provided with a nutritious meal.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can sometimes be difficult for one. It is no more limited to just early to bed and early to rise or eating healthy foods.
However, with the ‘Sophia Promise’ Health and Fitness programmes, residents will soon be able to access personalized gym instructors and equipment.
According to Marks, three persons from the community have been trained in providing health and fitness classes. He added that gym equipment, such as treadmills and jump ropes will be available for participants.
Marks said, too, that the RCGC will be purchasing the equipment to get the programme started.
He also indicated that the project is planning a health walk.
Agricultural practices have significantly evolved throughout the decades. One such practice is Shade House Farming. While it is by no means new, Marks believes that it offers poverty reduction and business opportunities.
He explained that the Sophia Promise will be embarking on this new initiative soon. He noted that they have already held a few training sessions at the St. Stanislaus farm.
Plans are also being made to have practice sessions done at the Pattensen Community Centre. The Chairman stressed however, that much needed works have to be carried out on the land.
‘The Sophia Promise’ has also been raising awareness on diabetes, hypertension and other non communicable diseases. Marks related that well trained personnel have been volunteering, providing much needed information on managing and preventing the diseases.
Testing and counseling services are also available.
In addition, to its many services, the project also distributes books throughout the community.
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