Georgetown, Guyana- (July 25, 2015) The children of the Shaheed’s Boys and Girls orphanages’ had much to celebrate earlier this evening as President David Granger announced that his administration will be increasing the annual subvention given to the organisation. Moments after returning from Washington DC, the President made the announcement at the Orphanages’ Eid Fest which marked the ending of the holy month of Ramadan.
In his address, President Granger lauded the efforts of the Board of the Guyana United Islamic Anjuman for their outstanding humanitarian work at the two orphanages. Noting that a lot has been done for the children who are cared for in the two facilities the Head of State said he is aware of the challenges and his administration is prepared to ‘up the government subvention’.
He said there is no better gift a society can give a child than care, attention and the basics; food clothing and shelter. Using the old adage that it takes a society to raise a child, the President noted that children are the future of any country and as the Islam teaches it is a serious error on the part of anyone to neglect the basic needs of children and other vulnerable groups.
The Head of State emphasised the need to nurture the country’s future generation, noting that children today face a lot of challenges. “Children in Guyana face many challenges, because of broken families and only society can protect a child…the human child requires [the] special care of something called family and if the family is absent it is the duty of the society to do what the family ought to have been doing”
Speaking of his experiences while travelling to some parts of Guyana, the President said he is often saddened by the sight of young children going to and from school without shoes. He said that it is important for school ages children to have the basic necessities including food, clothing, shelter and text books in order for them to have a good education.
Being cognizant of these facts, the President said his administration will continue to play its role in ensuring that school age children are provided with the basics while supporting the efforts of other organisations that have similar goals.
Based on statistics, the Head of State said Guyana has a high school dropout and this is an issue that needs to be addressed. He urged the Board of the Orphanages to use as a measure of success the number of children who successfully complete school and are able to find jobs.
“Five hundred boys and girls drop out of secondary school many of them will end up illiterate and it is the duty of the state to make sure those children be valid citizens and have access to education food shelter and clothing,” he said.
Going forward, as Guyana prepares to celebrate its 50th Independence Anniversary, the President called on the Guyana United Islamic Anjuman to set a goal to promote social cohesion and the “good life” of all Guyanese.
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Cohesion, Ms. Amna Ally who was also present at the event, echoed similar sentiments as she called on the gathering to play their role in national unity and working together for the building of Guyana as a nation.
The Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman was founded on June 1973, making it the oldest Islamic organisation in Guyana and out of that organisation the Shaheed’s Boys and Girls Orphanages were birthed in the 1950s. The functions of these facilities are to provide care, home and facilities to orphans, vulnerable and destitute children.
To support the transition of children out of the orphanage, the Board has set up bank accounts for each child. Once they age out of the facility, they are given that sum of money in addition to another $50,000.