Kwakwani residents benefit from Human Services outreach

Human Services and Social Security Minister Dr Vindhya Persaud shares a light moment with a resident who received spectacles for the first time

Hundreds of residents benefitted as the Ministry of Human Services and Social
Security on Friday hosted an extensive outreach at the Workers’ Recreational
Centre, Kwakwani, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice).

Approximately 64 residents aged from as young as eight years old to 90 years old, were able to have improved vision after receiving spectacles for the first time at no cost to them through the Ministry’s Difficult Circumstances Unit (DCU) and Miracle Vision Care of 317 Parika, East Bank Essequibo.

An 86-year-old resident, Rachel Vanlewin, who received spectacles for the first time, said it feels good to finally see clear and thanked the Ministry for providing her with better vision.
“It feels comfortable and I see clear, thank you so much,” Vanlewin said.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud told the gathering, “This is part of the work the Ministry of Human Services does and is part of our programme where we take our services to the community. Kwakwani is an important community, like any other in the country so we brought the key services to each one of you.”

Minister Persaud addressing the residents in Kwakwani during Friday’s outreach

“This ministry deals with everybody, from families, women, men, boys, girls, persons living with disabilities, everybody, so this ministry tackles social issues and from time to time, we would have received several reports involving children, domestic violence and elder abuse so the team today is an extensive one,” Minister Persaud added.

The Unit also provided assistive aids for persons with disabilities in the area including wheelchairs, crutches, walking canes and hampers.

Joyce Primo, a pensioner living with a permanent disability, said her life will be significantly
improved with her new wheelchair as she is now free to move about her community.

Another resident, Joy Macedo, 57, said “wow this is wonderful, I can see perfect and I must say thank you to Minister Persaud and her team for doing this.”

During the engagement, children living with Permanent Disabilities were also on the receiving end of the $100,000 one-off cash grant.

Additionally, the community was educated on the Ministry’s initiatives to tackle domestic violence including the toll-free 24-hour 914 hotline and Imatter App.

Head of the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Unit, Dr. Cona Husbands said, “The outlying communities are often starved for information when it comes to these issues even though they are faced with it and as a department, we aim to give everyone, everywhere the information that will make a difference in their lives. For instance, a lot of persons in the community were informed of the avenues available to seek help including shelters, legal pro-bono, survivor advocates and the community advocates’ network.”

Meanwhile, the Childcare and Protection Agency was also on hand, interacting with residents to answer queries and resolve issues they face.