Georgetown, Guyana – (November 7, 2017) Minister of Social Cohesion with the responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton, yesterday, urged stakeholders from the Regional Democratic Council, Mayor and Town Council and members of civil society of lower East Berbice-Corentyne communities to unite and foster a dream that will change Guyana and to make it a better place. The Minister made these remarks at a sensitisation workshop that was held at the Rose Hall Primary School in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six).
Minister Norton explained the overall objective of his visit to the town, is to bring the Ministry’s services to the people. “The Ministry of Social Cohesion is here to serve you the people of Region Six, which are needed especially when sectors of our society have decided to elected not to provide the cooperation that is needed for us to move forward,” the Minister said.
Dr. Norton said that he has observed that many barriers have been set up to create divisions throughout the country and it is the mandate of his Ministry to break down those barriers and to create a level playing field for all. “We need to be united; we need to work together so that we can build a better Guyana and a Guyana that all of us can be proud of. If there was ever a time that we needed the vision and mission of the Ministry of Social Cohesion to be a reality in Guyana, it is now. I know it is a great task, but I can assure you that my staff at this Ministry is willing to provide you the service,” the Minister said.
Minister Norton also reminded the stakeholders that apart from the Ministry of Social Cohesion he has been entrusted with the responsibility for Culture, Youth, and Sport; additional portfolios, which he said he is pleased to take responsibility for, adding that not only are they important developmental areas but also strong avenues for the deepening of social cohesion across the country.
He reaffirmed to the gathering the Ministry is committed to addressing concerns expressed by participants in each area for which he holds the responsibility. Minister Norton noted that the Ministry has been in motion, traveling the length and breadth of Guyana engaging the youth in meaningful dialogue, upgrading community centres under the Grounds Enhancement Programme and ensuring that traditions and cultures are kept alive in communities. “I am appealing to say that there are people on board who are ready to work with you in your communities,” Dr. Norton said.
Meanwhile, Programme Coordinator in the Ministry of Social Cohesion, Ms. Sharon Patterson delivered a presentation on the mandate of the Ministry. “Our vision for a socially cohesive society is one where diversities are embraced, conflicts are resolved, networks and collaborations within stakeholders strengthened, equity is promoted and the decision making process results in equal opportunities and benefits for all,” Ms. Patterson said. She added that the mandate of the Ministry could only be achieved with cooperation and input from stakeholders.
Also present at the sensitisation sessions were Technical Officer at the Ministry, Ms. Natasha Singh-Lewis, Regional Social Cohesion Officer, Ms. Shurla Scott, who served as Chairperson for the event, Deputy Regional Executive Officer Mr. Claude Henry and Police Superintendent, Mr. Boodnarine Persaud.