Jul 14, 2019 News
By Dr. TARA SINGH
Observing the Silver Jubilee of a not-for-profit organization (NGO) of which you are a part, is an amazing experience. Very few Guyanese-based NGOs have lasted this long.
When one considers the type, quality, scope and strategic significance of the selfless service provided by Guyana Watch Inc., (GWI) to Guyana, then one will truly appreciate
the organization’s remarkable accomplishments over its 25-years of existence.
GWI epitomizes Sir Winston Churchill’s dictum: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give,” and that of Mahatma Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
At an elegant programme at the Starlite Pavilion, Richmond Hill, New York on Friday July 5, 2019, GWI President, Mr Tony Yassin, expressed his deepest gratitude to all the supporters, volunteers, sponsors, as well as his GWI team for their sacrifice, hard work, dedication and persistence.
These qualities have enabled the organization to conduct scores of clinics throughout Guyana. There, they have examined and treated over 75,000 patients; administered medication to them, as well as, sponsored 70 patients overseas for advanced medical treatment, mostly for heart surgery.
These were done during GWI’s 25-year history.
In addition, 67 eye surgeries and hundreds of dental procedures were performed on Guyanese patients who would have, in most cases, been otherwise left undiagnosed and untreated. This type of record is unmatchable. With this huge scope of operations, GWI is the largest medical and humanitarian organization in the Caribbean.
The annual market value of its outreach project to Guyana (in terms of volunteers, medication, travel, subsistence, supplies, etc.) is estimated at an average of US$500,000.
Most of the funds are donated by GWI members and supporters, while the medications and supplies are donated by pharmaceutical companies.
Over the past seven years, the Jamaica Hospital has been donating doctors to the GWI mission. Special mention was made to the strong support that GWI receives from Kaieteur Restaurant, Sybil’s Restaurant, and Hibiscus Restaurant. Mr Yassin also thanked former members of GWI for their work and support of the organization.
A few of them received citation from GWI, including the writer who served as the first President of GWI for six years, and Mr Richie Anderson, who is an existing executive member of GWI and a former owner of Kaieteur Restaurant.
A posthumous award was given to the great humanitarian worker, Mr George Subraj, a former Vice President of GWI and Head of the George Subraj Foundation.
Mr Yassin said that other outstanding individuals will also be recognized during their 2019 mission to Guyana.
The Jubilee Programme was organized by Richie Anderson and Tony Yassin of GWI.
In his feature address, Mr Tony Yassin, said that while the audience was not as large as he had anticipated, it would nevertheless be a wonderful and memorable occasion. He provided a brief background on GWI’s evolution. Roy Singh and Gaitree (two former members) tried to capture the early history and challenges of GWI.
Mr Yassin made it clear that 100% of all donations received go directly into the medical and dental mission. All GWI members, including himself, pay their own airfares, accommodation and incidental expenses from their private funds.
That represents a further contribution by them towards the annual GWI mission.
Mr Yassin has been the President of GWI for 20 years and he has demonstrated a defined passion for medical and humanitarian outreach work. He implored the guidance of God in his continuing efforts to serve humanity. He believes that service to humanity is service to God.
But there is a caveat: Mr Yassin announced that he couldn’t have done those wonderful things without the support of his wife, Lucy, who has been making great sacrifice to ensure the success of annual GWI missions.
The 2019 annual medical and humanitarian mission begins on July 19 and ends on July 28, 2019. It comprises 30 volunteers (including seven doctors from USA, two local doctors, four dentists from USA).
GWI has identified seven clinic sites in historically under-served areas across Guyana at which they expect to examine and treat about 3,000 patients and provide appropriate medication.
They also expect to examine and treat about 1500 patients with dental problems.
As the Jubilee audience was moved by the work and mission of GWI, it was an opportune time to tap into their goodwill. A sum of US$20,000 was donated by members of the audience towards the 2019 medical and humanitarian mission.
Mr. Yassin thanked all the donors for their generosity and for helping the disadvantaged in Guyana.
After dinner, guests at the Observance were entertained with dance performances by Ambika Persaud and Shivani Singh of the Natraj organization.
A classical dance was performed by the maestro Dheeraj Guyaram. There was also karaoke singing by Seeta Panday, as well as by Son Son Gopaul, Jasodra Thakoordeen, and Anand Mahadeo. The programme was emceed by popular community activist Lolita Singh.
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