When Sohan Narain, well known as ‘Sir Sohan’, reached out to this publication for help in acquiring a Shoprider Delux 4 mobilised scooter to enable him to move about on his own to places, he had hope that someone might hear his plea.
St. Francis Community Developers working in collaboration with Food for the Poor Guyana Chapter came to the rescue. It was after they read the article published by Kaieteur News that ‘Sir Sohan’ got his heart’s desire.
Narain, 61, a former teacher from Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, moved to Berbice after suffering a stroke that left him paralyzed on his entire right side.
Alex Foster, CEO of the St.Francis Community Developers Berbice NGO, along with Manager of Gift and Kinds, Food for the Poor and a part of his team visited the home of Narain to make the donation recently. Foster said at the simple handing over that the mere fact that FPF took the time to travel all the way from Georgetown shows how important Narain was.
He implored, “We do hope that this is just the beginning of something that will seek to inspire others, that you will let other people know that the organisation Food for the Poor have been very generous to you because it is a very costly piece of equipment and we do hope that you care it because a lot of people would steal it if given an opportunity.”
Foster also lamented the need for public buildings to have easy access. Using Narain as an example to expound on his point, he added that he (Narain) will not be pleased when he shows up at public facilities and he can’t get in. “He will have to be outside and officers at their desk might not get up from their desk and come to him and then that will become a big issue.”
“People who are wheelchair bound can move about but can they access the service we are trying to make them access?”
The former educator who was happy to receive his scooter expressed how pleased he felt. “I feel great; I am so happy. I want to thank Food for the Poor. I want to thank everybody because you know every time I go to places the thing is elevated and with this now I can go and park up and do my stuff.”
Narain also said that it is his desire to continue sharing his knowledge to youths in need of it, despite his disability. He added that he is hoping to now provide lessons at no cost to students willing to learn at his home.
Jameel Davis, Manager at Gifts and Kind, Food for the Poor, stated that what they did is what they believe in, which is saving lives, transforming communities and renewing hope.
“Today we are just renewing this guy’s hope and maybe transforming his life in some way. This is the first one we did for this year and this is the seventh for the last four years for motorised wheelchairs. Overall, we distributed about 1200 wheelchairs over the past two years.
“We have a third shipment of 550 wheelchairs coming in about a month’s time to be distributed across the country through different organizations,” Davis explained.
The focus, he said, is on persons whose desire is to be mobile and with the shipment coming in persons can expect wheelchairs that can fold.
In responding to Narain’s announcement to offer lessons for free for youths, Davis revealed that if it is Narain’s true desire to teach, then Food for the Poor will provide the furniture and basic stationary materials.
Narain after the handing over, was shown how the scooter works. It includes an electric charger for recharging with a maximum speed of 6.40 Km. It is 130 cm in length and 58 cm in width and also has a manual break system.
Foster used the opportunity to also encourage journalists to write articles of a similar nature that will eventually garner results. “It seeks to motivate, inspire and move people to compassionately reach out to those who need support. It’s not only about handing over a wheelchair. Just recently another eight houses started by Food for the Poor will be available for distribution.”
“The Chairman of the Board for Food for the Poor, Mr. Paul Chan-a-Sue picked up the phone and called me to ask who wrote those stories because for the very first time in Guyana that we have been building houses through Food for the Poor a reporter actually went into details about the family background.
It’s always about us handing over the houses and we do not really understand who we are really giving them over to.”
A visit was also paid to the Port Mourant Hospital Maternity Unit. Spearheading the team was Alex Foster, accompanied by Food for the Poor representatives. During the visit it was highlighted that Food for the Poor donated 13 baby cribs/cots, four Fetal Non-stress test machines, two recliner chairs and two incubators to the unit through their medical outreach.
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