A spanking new Resource Centre fully equipped with a Library and Information Technology Corner, an area to facilitate skills training, a television and sewing machines, all to the cost of approximately $10M was
commissioned in Coomacka Mines, Region Ten on Saturday.
Delivering the keynote address, Project Manager of Food for the Poor Inc., Brinaire Jean, who is directly responsible for Haiti and Guyana, said the idea behind the project were “the children”, a term he used to describe all present to the front with him.
He said the project means more to Ms. Desiree Russell Dan, a former resident of Coomacka because it is her hometown. “This building is for you, this building is from somebody from the community who didn’t have anything but she wanted to put something together so that you don’t have to go to Linden, and you should appreciate this.
“You need to respect your parents, your elders, go to school and get an education because you are the future of tomorrow. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t be anything in life. I look at you and I see doctors, lawyers, I see teachers and Presidents, I see leaders among yourself today.”
Jean urged them not to allow politics to ruin their centre and their focus. He stressed that they should put it all aside and concentrate on their education. He also implored the elders to assist the younger ones and to care it.
FFTP Chief Executive Officer, Kent Vincent, said he was happy to be able to launch the project in Coomacka, having done numerous projects throughout the country. He noted that community development can come in many forms such as industrial development, new sporting facilities, medical facilities and agriculture initiatives, and urged the residents especially the children to take advantage of the centre.
“The focus for this Food for the Poor Development project is education and skills training especially for those who are young in the community.”
Vincent noted that the idea was birthed when a former resident, Ms. Desiree Russell Dan, of the community and now resident in Florida who is employed with FFTP Inc. in Florida visited the area and realized that there is need for development in the community. She also saw a lack of educational facilities.
He said she engaged the Georgetown office and began raising funds on her own for the project.
“The aim of this centre is to enhance the academic performance of students and young adults in Coomacka by giving them access to education and skills training resources. We expect that the overall performance of the students will improve as they will have better access to learning resources including the computers and wifi will be installed in the near future.”
Vincent also said that residents will have access to training programmes to make them more employable and it is expected to have a positive impact on income for families as the children will no longer have to travel to Linden to access the facilities.
Coomacka Mines CDC Chairman, Dexter Harding, thanked FFTP for building the centre and noted that the building was built by residents of Coomacka. He noted that consultations were done in 2014. “This project spans two CDC’s and it is for young people.
The concrete blocks were made by residents of the community, every part of the building was built by young people of Coomacka who worked very hard to get it done. The wood was cut by people right here.
Harding claimed that on the back burner is the acquisition of a Block factory and a Sports Complex in the community. He also thanked Andrea Benjamin and her team for their hard work and dedication in getting the centre completed.
Chairman of Food for the Poor, Paul Chan A Sue, urged the residents to make full use of the facility and take good care of it. “Even though you have different cultures, you are all part of Region Ten. I hope with this Community Centre you will further strengthen your own values, your own culture, your own way of expressing yourself and becoming and equipping the young children here much better.”
During the commissioning the residents and guests were treated to Cultural presentations by students of the Primary School, residents and the Rhythmatic Dance Group.
Notably absent were the Regional Members of Parliament, the Regional Chairman and other leaders in the Region.
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