Georgetown, Guyana – (March 14, 2016) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, agreed to partner with the Step by Step Foundation and Republic Bank (Guyana) Incorporated to increase awareness about autism in Guyana.
Dr. Suraiya Ismail, Chair of the Executive Committee, Mrs. Deborah Seebarran, Deputy Chair, Mrs. Cynthia Massay, of the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre and Ms. Kiran Mattai, Treasurer, all of the Step by Step Foundation and Ms. Michelle Johnson, Republic Bank’s Marketing and Communications Manager, met with the First Lady at her State House office.
The Foundation is run exclusively by a team of volunteers and operates a school for children with autism.
In an invited comment, Mrs. Granger said the group met with her to talk about “the challenges [and] the progress that they have made and to discuss possible areas of collaboration to increase awareness about autism in Guyana.”
First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger (centre) is flanked by, from left to right: Ms. Kiran Mattai, Mrs. Cynthia Massay, Dr. Suraiya Ismail, Ms. Michelle Johnson and Mrs. Deborah Seebarran.
The First Lady also accepted an invitation to participate in the Autism Awareness march to further increase awareness about the condition.
According to Dr. Ismail, Republic Bank has joined with the group to mark observances for Autism Month in April and they are interested in collaborating with the First Lady to promote their activities.
She said, “The group has invited the First Lady to become its patron for Autism Month and to participate in Autism Awareness Walk set tentatively for April 9, as part of local observances”.
Meanwhile, Ms. Johnson said that Republic Bank and the Step by Step Foundation have had a partnership for several years.
“They are one of our partners under the Power to Make a Difference social investment programme and in addition to autism awareness activities, annually we work with them to bring in doctors [and to pay] tuition for two students at the Step by Step School,” Ms. Johnson said. This year the Bank and the Foundation are “stepping up our awareness activities”, she added.
From left to right: Ms. Kiran Mattai, Mrs. Cynthia Massay, Dr Suraiya Ismail, First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger and Ms. Michelle Johnson share a light moment after the meeting.