Mar 13, 2016 News
“God blessed you with life and regardless of what you might be going through you should not destroy the life that is given to you. Don’t think about things that will keep you down, focus on things that can elevate you and make you a better person.”
By Sharmain Grainger
Having lost his father tragically at an early age and being raised by his mother who barely had the financial wherewithal, Mohamed Yasin reflects that it wasn’t really expected that he would have amounted to anything. He was the sixth of seven children that his mother struggled to feed back in the day.
But maybe it was the determination and courage he saw in his mother from an early age that gave him the will to strive to become somebody that not only his mother, but society as a whole, could be proud of.
And what better way to achieve this feat than to become a humanitarian. Fuelled by the memories of an impoverished past, Yasin, after becoming a reputable professional in his community of Vryheid Village, Berbice, made a decision to lend support to the vulnerable in his neighbourhood as well as those within proximity. This saw him soliciting support from like-minded individuals and organisations such as Food for the Poor Guyana to give out welcomed hampers to ensure that those without financial means are able to survive.
“Once my mother was in need when she was raising us, and I remember clearly that there were people who extended a helping hand just so that we could eat. We were poor like church rats. So I don’t see what I do as just charity work, I see it as a necessary thing for me to do now that I am in a position to help,” a passionate Yasin asserted during an interview with this publication.
At age 21, he tied the knot with his sweetheart, Meena Persaud, and like his parents’, their union produced seven children. They reside at 3-5 Sukhdeo Scheme, Vryheid Village, Canje, West Coast Berbice, and all support the humanitarian efforts.
A simple mention of the Yasin name to some within the Vryheid Village prompts disclosures of his contributions that have helped to improve the lives of many. And this is certainly a mission that Yasin hopes to continue until the day of his departure from this earth.
His focus is not only on feeding the hungry, but it is also to help encourage those struggling with life’s challenges to know that there is hope, if they only strive to realise their dream.
“I firmly believe that you can achieve just about anything you dream of…it may not happen overnight but once you work hard and stay focused you can have a better life; I am testimony to this,” he asserted.
And he firmly embraces the notion that education is the key to ultimate success.
As such the need to constantly encourage people is not an option for Yasin but an obligation. This is especially in light of the fact that far too often he has seen people refuse to face their struggles and opt to simply end it all by taking their own lives.
“Just recently I had to encourage somebody that once there is life there is hope. That person wanted to die but I shared with them something I’d read not so long ago that life is from B to D – birth to death – and what is between that is a C and the C stands for choices. It’s all about the choices you make that will determine where your life goes,” Yasin underscored.
“God blessed you with life, and regardless of what you might be going through you should not destroy the life that is given to you. Don’t think about things that will keep you down, focus on things that can elevate you and make you a better person,” is the advice that Yasin often offers to those he believes are struggling with various overwhelming issues.
But exactly who is this Mohamed Yasin who has for a number of years been trying in his own small way to help make a difference in society.
He was born on September 4, 1968 at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation to parents Mohamed and Doris Yasin, a homemaker. Theirs was a modest family, as his father had what could be considered a decent position at the Demerara Tobacco Company.
In the early days they resided on Regent Street in a building that was later popularly known as the Yasin building. Yasin doesn’t quite remember life on Regent Street, as by the time he had turned three years old his father was killed during a social outing, and soon after, his mother was desperately trying to make ends meet.
His mother hailed from Rosignol, Berbice, and because of a property battle with her late husband’s sibling over the Regent Street home, Doris Yasin decided to gather her seven children and return to her father’s home. But her return to Berbice was not a welcomed one, as according to Mohamed Yasin, his mother was turned away by her father who was not prepared to cater to her as well as her seven children.
“It was sad to know that her father was not willing to take us in. He told her that her husband was supposed to take care of her and her seven mouths, but her husband was dead,” Yasin recounted.
Although hurt by her father’s neglect and still filled with grief from her husband’s sudden demise, Yasin’s mother decided to leave her children with a friend as she headed to New Amsterdam to find a job. She was able to secure one as a live-in domestic. Her employer did not only take her in, but her seven children as well.
And it was there that Yasin and his siblings were raised. “So we really grew up in a place called Essex Street,” recounted Yasin. This of course was until they were able to secure a loan from a bank to build a home of their own.
Yasin attended Trinity Street Primary School and then the Vryman’s Erven Community High School, after which he attended Tagore High. He had a desire to become a teacher and as soon as he was out of school he was embracing this noble profession. He taught at the Tutorial High School in Berbice, but would remain in that field for only about one year. But his change of profession was as sudden as it was different.
“I went to the Regional Democratic Council one day to query some matters for the school and they had a vacancy at the time and I applied, and before I knew it, I was employed as a clerk there,” Yasin recalled.
He started working as a clerk in 1992 and eventually moved his way up the ranks to Senior Human Resource Manager at the Regional Democratic Council of Region Five, a position he is very proud of today. But he has been able to serve this country in a number of locations, in the area of human resource management, including Regions One, Four, Six and Eight.
Speaking with pride of his profession recently, he noted that the role of a Human Resource Manager is not merely about dealing with things related to the job.
“Sometimes people will come to work with problems and sometimes what I have to do is try to work with them to actually get the job done. And sometimes people just need someone to talk to or to hear some comforting words to get going again,” Yasin said. He is convinced that his job is one that requires a great deal of patience and lots of understanding.
But according to him, what he has learnt from his experience too is that “human beings can be very hard to deal with, simply because each person is different. It’s like our five fingers, none of them are equal, and this is what obtains with people you deal with. Everybody that you have to deal with is completely different, and I understand this all too well.”
His years of experience have certainly made him very knowledgeable in the field of human resource management. In fact, his advice has been sought after on numerous occasions by the Public Service Commission and even the Public Service Ministry and he has been willingly lending his support wherever necessary.
His contributions to helping to improve the lives of many people in and out of the office setting are many and therefore impossible to be detailed in this mere article.
However, because of his dedication to helping to improve the lives of the vulnerable in his community and the fact that he has stayed committed and continue to serve with distinction in a career that could be deemed by some as rather challenging, that we have today featured Mohamed Yasin as our ‘Special Person’.
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