-Min. Sukhai starts distribution in riverine communities
Government’s ‘Because We Care’ cash grant programme is a great means of support to many Amerindian families in Barima-Waini (Region One).
Many hinterland households are struggling to make ends meet as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This, coupled with the recent flooding disaster, which destroyed farms, the sole source of income for several families, have added to their challenges.
As such, when Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, visited riverine communities Black Water Savannah, Red Hill and Barima Koriabo, Santa Cruz, Warapoka and Asakata to distribute the promised cash grant for children, residents were relieved.
Over a two-day period, Minister Sukhai delivered grants amounting to $15.4 million to benefit 814 students. She told residents the funds were to ensure that their children are given an equal opportunity to access education.
Ms. Rosita Thomas, a mother of three from Red Hill said, “it has been hard because of the flood.
“We had a lot of hard time because we children had to come out for school and we find it very difficult but now, as the Government are helping us, we are so happy. We are proud of the Government with this great help for our poor people.”
Mr. Delon Campbell of Black Water Savannah said, “It means a lot to me because I am a parent and through this pandemic and all that is happening especially in the interior, we got it rough.
“We do not have jobs around to do and this come in as a great help and more exciting that our children are going back to school and they can have their education, they miss out a lot. This money comes in as a great help and I must congratulate the Government for bringing this support.”
Ms. Camille Lucas of Santa Cruz, a mother of six, was also thankful for the grant.
“It means much to me to help my children go to school. The little that I have and then the little that I am getting means more for me.
“So, I thank the Government so much that they provide that little money for me to help my children to go to school,” she said.
Toshao of Barima Koriabo, Mr. Gilroy Roberts also expressed his gratitude. “We really appreciate the Government has made every effort to support indigenous people.”
Minister Sukhai told the residents that the grant is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to the people.
“I urge that every single young person take education seriously because Guyana is moving towards a place where we would not be able to progressively and positively affect development if we are not educated and trained.
“So, all that you see that Government is doing for the young people, laying the foundation, the next five years, a next decade in which we are expected to rise to a different level in this country.”
She urged parents to use the funds for their intended purpose.
“Giving cash grant to parents is to ensure that our children come to school fully equipped.
“That it will assist parents who are already providing for their children, additional money to provide things that they are having a hard time to provide…. Your children must be guided when they come to school, that they must stay focused in the classroom.”
The Minister also reminded the residents that Government’s commitment to fostering their wellbeing is rapidly unfolding.