Jan 17, 2016 News
– inducted as Patron of Guyana Foundation
First Lady, Sandra Granger, has called on the charitable organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and members of wider society to play a greater role in tackling the scourge of suicide.
The First Lady issued the statement after she was introduced as the new Patron of the Guyana Foundation (GF) a charitable trust aimed at contributing to meaningful change towards rebuilding Guyana.
Mrs. Granger was presented with a specially-made gold pin by GF’s Founder, Mrs. Supriya Singh-Bodden, during the cocktail reception held in the Savannah Suite of the Pegasus Hotel, on Friday.
The event attracted over 200 individuals from representatives of government agencies, business entities, local and international charitable organizations and volunteers. Mrs. Granger noted the need for all sectors in society to get involved in arresting the root causes of suicide.
According to the Hon First Lady, “In the context of mental health… it is vitally important that our country addresses urgently, effectively, and in a coherent manner, the alarmingly high incidence of suicide, particularly among our youths.”
Pointing to the fact that Guyana, with its comparatively small population, has an alarmingly high rate of suicide, Mrs. Granger said that the nation cannot afford to lose its human capital to suicide. Efforts must be made forthwith to find the causes and provide professional help.
Speaking of the foundation’s attempts to help curb this epidemic, Mrs. Granger also noted that the group has already signalled its willingness to participate in a national conversation on suicide prevention and to offer its resources. She praised the Foundation’s work with at-risk groups.
“When we educate our children, our women, our citizens with special needs, our seniors, we help vulnerable sectors of our population not only to be positive about themselves; but to recognise their intrinsic value as [individuals and], as members of our society [and reinforce] the belief that they can contribute,” Mrs. Granger said.
The First Lady said that she is pleased to be associated with such a noble organisation. She said it was particularly commendable that The Guyana Foundation has continued to have an expansive reach and offers programmes in communities beyond Georgetown and the Coastland, as it had been doing since its establishment in 2013.
“Recognizing that the Guyanese people and their diverse cultures are our greatest wealth, the programme of The Guyana Foundation has focused on the most vulnerable sectors of our population” she said.
According information posted on the group’s social media page these vulnerable groups, include those that are poverty-stricken. Women and youths are direct beneficiaries of Foundation projects, aimed at improving mental health, and empowerment through literacy programmes and emotional support through community renewal engagements.
Speaking on the NGO’s plan to retake communities and build a stronger nation, the First Lady noted, “An educated population is a tolerant population. It reaches out to help those less fortunate among us. It seeks ways to feed the children who cannot study or learn because their bellies are empty… It does not point an admonitory finger at adolescent mothers, who may have been victims of trafficking or rape or incest,” the First Lady said.
Last October, following a meeting between the First Lady and Founder of the Guyana Foundation, Mrs. Supriya Singh-Bodden, Mrs. Granger had expressed that there are significant areas of synergy between her work programme and the work of the Foundation.
The Foundation is a charitable trust that has as its mandate to contribute meaningfully to the rebuilding of Guyana. Mrs. Singh-Bodden, who adorned the First Lady with a pin to signify her induction as Patron, thanked her for accepting the invitation, even as she pledged to continue the Foundation’s work.
The Founder further noted that from its inception the Foundation had attracted individuals; both locally and from across the world, who have stepped forward to share ideas, develop projects, and raise funds, to assist vulnerable populations.
The Foundation’s work is propelled by Mrs. Singh-Bodden’s conviction that great change can be made by people who are encouraged and supported. As such, it has conducted large and small-scale projects countrywide in an effort to restore hope and purpose, rebuild lives, and create a better future for all Guyanese
Mrs. Singh-Bodden also unveiled several new initiatives that will be launched in 2016.
These new projects include the Guyana Foundation Sunrise Centres, the Guyana Heroes Project, collaboration with the Starkey Foundation and a village renewal project in Hague on the West Coast of Demerara.
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