The ‘Give Another Chance Foundation’ (GACF) has over the years been assisting residents on the Essequibo island of Wakenaam and is now looking to expand throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.
The non-governmental organization has been in operation for the past seven years and boasts a track record of under the radar benevolent activities.
The goals include improving children’s lives by creating a social movement that delivers effective health, education, nutritional programmes, in addition, to giving children an opportunity to realize their own personal achievement, whether academically, artistically or within the realms of sports. The group also aims to promote peace, justice, understanding and friendly relations in the society.
GACF was founded by Miranda Thakur-Deen and her family.
In an interview with Kaieteur News, Deen pointed out that she always had an interest in helping others, because she grew up underprivileged. She added that it has always been her family’s intention to give back to the community.
“It was always our intention to give back. We started in our resident church that we grew up in… so we started taking charge of the Christmas donations for the kids. And that is where we grew… we saw that once we gave back to the community and society we would have been blessed in abundance…then we started with our schools.”
Ameena Hinds, a Regional Official, told Kaieteur News that the foundation was started to help the less fortunate.
“It was to basically help the less fortunate taking into consideration us, the members, from Wakenaam. We knew what it was like growing up with the little, but then we realized that we would have moved and the opportunities that are available in the city and its environs, the kids from Wakenaam are not exposed to that…so most of our programmes and activities are centered on having them share these experiences, as other persons share in developed areas.”
At a recently concluded May Fair, many of the island’s young designers were given a chance to showcase their talent. Hinds said that the event is aimed at motivating school dropouts to bring out their full potential.
“We have decided to motivate these young ladies on another level to assist them with showcasing their fashion or designs. The foundation would have bought all the materials that they need. All they needed was to bring out their designs. We didn’t want to have it in a secluded form…so we decided to have this May fair. Long ago on the island they used to have a May fair, but not anything big….just somebody plaiting a pole. We wanted them to have this experience to help them realize their worth.”
The foundation is gearing up to host its fund- raising Caricom Day (July 4) boat cruise. Proceeds from this activity will be used to supply back to school hampers for children in East Ruimveldt, Georgetown.
Last Christmas, the residents of Wakenaam experienced the community’s first Christmas tree light-up, compliments of the foundation. A striking 20-foot tree thrilled children and elders who were the recipients of presents.
Thousands of gifts were handed out to children in the communities of Sophia, Hopetown Village, Berbice and Baramita during last year’s Christmas season.
An $800,000 “Adolph Thakur Tertiary Education Scholarship Award” was given to Terrence Williams for being the top CSEC student for the Essequibo Islands. He is now pursuing studies in Computer Science at the University of Guyana. The top National Grade Six Assessment student for the island was also recognized, while many of the students benefited from free lessons this year.
According to Thakur, the foundation is looking forward for endorsement from local and international partners to continue this venture.
The charitable organization was able to accomplish many of its goals in 2015 and is optimistic that this year will be a fulfilling one for them.
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