The Riverview community in Georgetown – generally thought of as a depressed community
where lack of employment and a low standard of living prevails – was visited on Friday by
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.
“This was an area that kept coming up as needing help and so we reached out,” Minister
Persaud noted as her reason for choosing this community to visit. She and her team have been conducting this level of outreach to most of the regions across the country, with just a few remaining.
The Riverview residents welcomed Minister Persaud and team with opened arms and
expressed gratitude that she took time out to remember and visit them.
In keeping with her usual style of one-on-one interactions with residents, Minister Persaud
listened to concerns affecting the residents and committed to helping wherever she could. She promised, for instance, that she would forward their concerns of drainage and flooding after heavy rainfall to the relevant government ministers.
Where the services of her ministry were concerned, all heads of programmes were on board, along with representatives of every key agency that is associated with the ministry.
The Childcare and Protection Agency was on hand to educate on child abuse and talk about
parenting; officers from the Probation Department spoke about domestic violence and cases of elder abuse; the Counter-Trafficking in Person Unit was also present, along with officers to deal with pensions and public assistance.
One boy who keeps topping his class due to the diligent efforts he exerts towards his studies was promised help by Minister Persaud in the form of a device that would make his workload easier.
Another high point of the visit was the enrollment of 25 residents on the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) programme that was recently launched. Minister Persaud was extremely happy when the women expressed a desire not to merely depend on handouts but to become independent.
“This was very encouraging. Having 25 women saying they want to do something for
themselves was very good,” Minister Persaud said, noting that she will arrange for a venue close to the area where the residents can easily access the WIIN classes. She is also looking to see how the class sizes can be increased to accommodate more interested persons.
Minister Persaud also took the opportunity to spread the message behind the 914 hotline
which she has been doing across the country in an effort to get people into the culture of
reporting the wrongs they witness.
The visit also saw the distribution of hampers, hygiene kits for the women and baby bags with pampers, etc.