Georgetown, Guyana – (June 21, 2017) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, applauded the Miss World Guyana contestants for selecting complex social issues that are affecting Guyanese to be the focus for their “Beauty with a Purpose” one-year projects. She made these comments when nine of the 10 contestants vying for the Miss World Guyana crown on Sunday, June 25, 2017 paid a courtesy call at her State House office. The projects they discussed are a required part of the competition and range from domestic, sexual and child abuse, teen suicide, hunger and malnutrition and chronic diseases.

Mrs. Granger urged the young ladies, who have been dubbed beauty ambassadors, to ensure that they use empirical data to carefully plan and execute the projects they are undertaking. “When people are asking you questions, you can answer and defend yourself better and promote your platform by saying I am focusing on this community [and] this is what we have,” the First Lady said.

The First Lady told the contestants that to better address the social issues they have chosen, they must understand the complexities of each and how these are linked to other social problems. Making reference specifically to child abuse, Mrs. Granger said that “in my experience we have had children being abused by a relative and the parent not taking any notice of it because the person may be giving them groceries every month or helping them out in some way, so they will turn their eyes away.” In this regard, she urged that the beauty ambassadors be cognisant of what is taking place in both the rural and urban communities.

She further encouraged them to carefully research the regions that they are representing so that they can adequately represent the various peculiarities that make each one unique.

National Director of the Miss World Guyana Pageant, Ms. Natasha Martindale said that while the traditional view is that the women involved in pageantry are constantly bombarding each other with negativity, the coordinators are taking a different approach by promoting oneness and building a sisterhood among the contestants. “Miss World Guyana would only be given to one of them, but at the end of the day they have embraced this journey and all of the ups and downs and they have learnt so much about each other. They are like sisters. It was a real bonding experience,” she told the First Lady.

The contestants, who each represent one of the ten administrative regions of Guyana, expressed gratitude to the First Lady for accommodating them and keeping an informative session that will help them to further develop and execute their projects in the respective communities.

This year’s contestants, in chronological order, representing regions one to ten are Delisha Wright, Sharda Pramdeo, Hemwantie Seodat, Vena Mookram, Joelly Valentine, Thamesha Watson, Ariell Ghanie, Crystal Wills, Manisha Mai Lee Wong and Nitifah Thompson.

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