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Georgetown, Guyana – (December 6, 2016) Members of the Diplomatic Corps, this morning, presented two cheques valued US$1,000 each to the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Social Cohesion in support of the Boats, Buses, Bicycles plus Breakfast and Books (Five Bs) and the Shoes that Grow programmes.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Russia’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Nikolay Smirnov presented the symbolic cheques to First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger and Ms. Sharon Patterson, Programme Coordinator of the Ministry of Social Cohesion, at a simple ceremony held in the Conference Room of the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation (IIC) on High Street, Kingston.

The First Lady expressed profound gratitude to the group for the gesture noting that ensuring that children are able to get to school is important for their development into productive citizens.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Russia’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Nikolay Smirnov and First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger share a light moment after the presentation ceremony.

“I want to express my appreciation to… the Diplomatic Crops for thinking of the transportation aspect not just walking, but the use of the bicycles for the children, who often have to go many miles to school and it helps them to get to and from school quickly and on time… I really want to say thank you very much, to all of you for this very thoughtful gesture and I know that the school children of Guyana will appreciate it. Thank you very much,” Mrs. Granger said.

Ambassador Smirnov said that the nations of the Diplomatic Corps took a decision to utilise resources from the fund established to support Aboriginal people and those in need to provide assistance to the programmes. [“It] is very important because without shoes nobody can move properly… It’s a good start… The shoes and bicycles will be quite useful for their day to day activity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dane Gobin, Treasurer of the Diplomatic Corps and Chief Executive Officer of the ICC said every year the diplomatic community identifies charities and other worthwhile causes to provide assistance. Last year the Joshua House and the Phoenix Recovery Project benefited from donations and this year, the group was very impressed with the impact that the ‘Five Bs’ and Shoes that Grow programmes have had on the well being of children.

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Mr. Greg Quinn, Chilean Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Claudio Rojas Rachel, Cuban Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Julio César González Marchante, Mexican Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Ivan Robero Sierra Medel and United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative, Ms. Mikiko Tanaka also attended the ceremony.

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