Georgetown, Guyana – (October 12, 2015) In keeping with a promise made by, then Opposition leader, now President, Brigadier David Granger; Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally over the course of the weekend, handed over foot wear to students from the village of Parishara, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo). Additionally, Minister Ally also handed over sports gear to the Kurupukari community to promote social cohesion.

The provision of the school shoes, which were donated by businessman, Bishnarine Persaud, the proprietor of Sanjay’s Jewellery, is part of President Granger’s push to ensure that all school aged children are not hindered from attending school, by the lack of basic needs.

At the Saraswatie Vidya Niketan School’s Graduation ceremony for the class of 2015, on Sunday, President David Granger again reiterated the importance of educating the nation, even as he pointed out the challenges being faced, by the students in the hinterland regions in accessing an education.

“Anyone who knows about what I’ve been saying on the campaign trail for the past five years would know I’ve been calling for Guyana to become an education nation once again. Education is one of the greatest gifts that you could ever receive in your life. I have covered every single region of this country, and I’m pained to go into some parts of our country to see children coming out of school three o’clock on a Friday afternoon and not one of them are wearing a pair of shoes. Some people may be rich, but a lot of people cannot even afford shoes to go to school. Guyanese children, right here in 2015,” the President said.

With the President’s promise and agenda in mind, on Sunday morning, Minister Ally handed over 300 pairs of footwear to the village, noting that, during the campaign season, President David Granger had visited the village and had found that most of the children were attending school bare feet. With the President’s focus on education, she said that the provision of the shoes had to become a reality.

“When we were here, we saw that many of the children did not have footwear and we had vowed that we will pay attention to that as one of the things to be done. And so, we thought that one of the first places we should go is to Parishara and provide the footwear for the children,” she said.

Businessman Persaud, who donated the shoes, also ensured that they were transported to Region 9, sealing the public-private partnership.

Minister Ally vowed that the village will not be neglected under this administration as she reiterated the government’s developmental plans for the people of that region.

Visiting Kurupukari and delivering the sports gear, the day before, Minister Ally noted that the purpose of the activity was to begin to involve citizens at the community level in the promotion of togetherness and national unity. This, she explained, was one of the primary mandates of her Ministerial post.

“The first set of people I am targeting is the young people. Our young people must have the opportunity to have equipment and materials to play games and socialise like those in Georgetown. Let it be used in the community. Let it foster social cohesion. Let us learn by playing games, to start the togetherness,” she told residents.

The equipment was received by Mark Holden, Sports Chairman of the Kurupukari community in the presence of Vice President Sydney Allicock and village Toshao Russian Dorrick.

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