GRC celebrates 25th anniversary

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The Guyana Relief Council (GRC) on Sunday observed its 25th anniversary under the theme “Years of Caring and Sharing,” where volunteers, sponsors and specially invited guests came together to reflect on the project and its accomplishments.

A luncheon was held at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown, and was attended by members of the private sector, diplomatic corp and stakeholders.

GRC Chairman Yvonne Hinds in her opening remarks related that the organisation operates on funding from donors and businesses.

She added that despite the acknowledgement and favourable reviews of the vast work that has been carried out yearly, funding is limited and donations are increasingly sporadic; however, the organisation is eternally grateful for the funding received.

The Chairman noted that the GRC has grown into a respected non-governmental organisation over the years, after being faced with many challenges. She went on to say that the work that has been done for the Guyanese population is significant.

“Those involved in charitable work are well aware of how difficult it is to raise funds in a small society and reaching for help from the same sources. The past year has been very difficult financially; however, no one who sought our services is turned away,” Hinds expressed.

Reflecting on the past, Hinds said that the GRC’s service to the nation over the past 25 years has seen many of early dreams becoming a reality. “We now have an emergency shelter with an apartment for such administration. The facility was renamed the Yvonne Hinds Hope and indeed is an oasis I envisioned, which could house one hundred persons when necessary. During the great floods in 2005-2006, the residence accommodated age range from a one-month-old baby to a 92-year-old man, who stayed for a period of six weeks”.

She outlined that the organisation is fulfilling its vision of providing non-discriminatory help to Guyanese when they are most in need. She further added that the GRC has handled 35 fire cases and 14 welfare cases and has helped 227 persons.

Former British High Commissioner Stephen Hiscock stressed that even with help from international and local communities, funding is hard to accumulate since there is always a need for more help and assistance for those who have been affected by disasters, especially fire.

He encouraged young members of society to volunteer to make a meaningful contribution to the country.

A number of persons were recognised for their tremendous contributions and sacrifices to the GRC’s cause, ranging from the Chairman, Oscar Phillips; Courtney Benn, Doris Lewis, Donna Ramsammy-James, Lloyd Stanley Gopaul, and CHE Jian Ping.

The Guyana Relief Council is a non-profit voluntary organisation, which was established since 1994 to render support and bring relief those affected by disaster.