Georgetown, Guyana – (August 5, 2017) The Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Inter-Village Exchange Camp will commence on Sunday, August 13, 2017 in St. Ignatius, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo Region (Region Nine) and today, Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, was on hand to receive a cheque for an undisclosed amount from RUBIS Guyana Incorporated’s Sales and Marketing Manager for the Eastern Caribbean, Mr. Ricardo Milford in support of the event. The handing over ceremony was held at the RUBIS Guyana Incorporated Head Office in Providence, East Bank Demerara.

Dr. Norton expressed gratitude to the company for supporting the programme, which will benefit some 160 youths in that region. He said, “I’m heartened that RUBIS Guyana Incorporated also has a strong commitment to local communities, since it is evident that Public/Private partnerships significantly benefit the country as a whole.” Minister Norton noted that the Ministry has been exploring Public/Private partnerships recently and is pleased that RUBIS Guyana Incorporated is one of the first companies to come on board.

Speaking on behalf of RUBIS Guyana Incorporated, Account Executive, Ms. Rhonda Johnson said that the company is delighted to partner with the Government of Guyana, through the Social Cohesion Ministry as they work towards forging harmonious relations throughout Guyana. She applauded the Ministry’s efforts thus far and expressed hope that the Inter-Village Exchange Camp will positively affect the youths and encourage them to become agents of change in their communities.

Coordinator of the Ministry of Social Cohesion, Ms. Sharon Patterson said that the Ministry is hopeful that in the future diversity education and inclusion training can be provided to the staff of RUBIS Guyana Incorporated “so that staff members understand their own roles in contributing to the process [social cohesion]… This is the first activity of this nature [so] it is really a pilot. We want to see how it will work and take away learning from this, draw some best practices from this and see what could be strengthened.”

Ms. Patterson said that an evaluation of the programme will be conducted and based on the findings the Ministry intends to make it an Intra-Village Exchange Programme where sensitisation and advocacy efforts will continue at a direct community level. Water bottles, coffee cups, pencils, crayons and pouches were also donated by RUBIS to be distributed to participants of the Inter-Village Exchange Camp.

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