The Enterprise Youth Development Group (EYDG) in collaboration with The Caribbean Voice and over 50 other organisations, over the weekend held a candlelight vigil in commemoration of International Suicide Prevention Day 2016.
The exercise was held under the #STAYALIVE project, in concert with the Caribbean Voice Mission, to bring about awareness and education of the social scourge which has taken the country by storm.
The candlelight vigil, held at Enterprise last Saturday evening between 18:00hrs and 19:00hrs, was held simultaneously with other organisations throughout Guyana. The programmes of each event varied and were done in accordance with the mandate of the various NGO’s involved.
During the vigil, a circle was formed where prayers were offered for the country. Candles were lit during a brief discourse on suicide; the talk focused on building awareness.
“They were vibrant interactions, laughter and touching energies when we all came together to pray. We lit the candle in a form of meditation, focusing on the luminous light last (Saturday) evening,” the group said on Monday.
“The first step in ending suffering, pain and guilt is to connect with the Almighty/universe through light. By focusing on light, it is said that one can eventually become the light which can transfer knowledge into society, eliminating darkness and ignorance.The light itself is to bring inner peace of mind to all and to represent a symbol of hope,” the EYDG said.
Candle meditation, the EYDG explained, is a present-awareness exercise which can be used to further enhance one’s present awareness. In this case, it said there is a non-violent and peaceful way to bring attention to important issues which impact the village of Enterprise and the country at large through the holding of candlelight vigils.
“Your loved ones, friends, relatives, God, mental health counsellors, priests, ministers, etc, are all good sources of help. They are all willing to help you and they can make a difference, but you must be willing to take advantage of this help,” the group said, as it urged persons against suicide. “Regardless of your situation, take advantage of the help that is around you. Remember: Every problem has a solution. You just have to find it. Suicide is not the answer,” the EYDG stressed.
The vigil at Enterprise was held simultaneously with those hosted by other NGOs which also spread hope during several countrywide observances of World Suicide Prevention Day.
The vigils were organised by The Caribbean Voice (TCV), the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), Prevention Of Teenage Suicide (POTS), the Leo Clubs, the Miss Global International Guyana Team, the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha and other religious groups in all three counties of Guyana.
POTS Guyana, an organisation formed by activist Lisa Punch, hosted its vigil at Square of the Revolution, in Georgetown, where a handful gathered to light candles in an effort to inspire suicidal persons to live.