Georgetown, Guyana – (June 23, 2017) The New Amsterdam Harmony Group, whose members were trained last November in diversity and inclusion, have collaborated with the Ministry of Social Cohesion to host Harmony Village – New Amsterdam Cultural Festival on July 5, 2017 on the Matthew Allen Road in New Amsterdam, Berbice.
The event was conceptualised by the group as a spin-off of the inaugural Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Harmony Village, which was held in Georgetown in March. The New Amsterdam event seeks to celebrate cultural diversity, while promoting and enhancing regional and national unity.
Speaking at a press conference, which was held at the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association’s boardroom to launch the event, the Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton said that the activity aims to provide an opportunity for the residents of New Amsterdam to more fully appreciate the country’s diversity as well as gain a better understanding of what social cohesion is all about. “It is our hope the Harmony Village will foster strong community relationships and a spirit of harmony and unity in New Amsterdam… This [activity] presents an opportunity for the New Amsterdam Harmony group to demonstrate that they have aptly grasped what diversity and inclusion entails and for them to be actively involved in promoting and enhancing social cohesion and harmony,” Dr. Norton said.
President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association, Mr. Ryan Alexander, Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton and Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Kim Stephens during the press briefing for the Harmony Village – New Amsterdam Cultural Festival.
Meanwhile, Regional Executive Officer, Ms. Kim Stephens applauded the group’s effort to introduce the Harmony Village to the residents of New Amsterdam. “I want to applaud [the members of the New Amsterdam Harmony Group] and to pledge our region’s continued support… We know the importance of us being a cohesive region and by extension a cohesive country… I am certain [that the Harmony Village] will be one where all our different culture[s] will be embraced,” he said.
In addition, President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce and Development Association, Mr. Ryan Alexander said that the members of the body are committed to social cohesion and see supporting the event as part of their corporate responsibility to the region. “This event is a demonstration of our co-operation with the Ministry in successfully pulling this event off. The Chamber of Commerce fully supports activities of this nature and we look forward to working along with the Ministry and the group to create the harmony that [Guyana deserves],” he said.
Technical Officer at the Ministry of Social Cohesion, Mrs. Natasha Singh-Lewis said that 27 booths have been booked by businesses and religious and cultural groups from the region.
Following the media brief, the Minister was led on a site visit at the Matthew Allen Road, where the event is scheduled to be held.