NGO launches $42M Akawini community development project

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Minister Valerie Lowe demonstrating the use of one of the four cassava mills.
Some of the houses constructed under the Akawini Community Development Project.
Some of the houses constructed under the Akawini Community Development Project.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Government’s overall drive to develop and enhance the lives of Guyana’s indigenous peoples has been boosted as Food For the Poor Guyana Inc. commissioned a $42M community development project in Akawini, Pomeroon River, Region Two on Wednesday, July 29.

The project was a collaborative effort of Food For the Poor and the residents of the community. Expressing government’s appreciation for the initiative was Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe, who participated in the official inauguration and cutting of the ribbon.

The project, which is the brainchild of the former Toshao of Akawini, Rudolph Wilson, saw the construction of 27 houses, the provision of four cassava mills and two cargo/passenger boats complete with engines to further enhance the lives of the

The official cutting of the ribbon to the community is done by two girls while Minister Lowe and Food for the Poor officials looks on.
The official cutting of the ribbon to the community is done by two girls while Minister Lowe and Food for the Poor officials looks on.

almost 900 residents.

In her presentation, Minister Lowe explained that it is not often that an indigenous community benefits from such a project. She commended the management of Food For the Poor for embarking on such an initiative and the Toshao and residents for making it possible.

She explained that the project has given the residents the opportunity to be more self-sufficient urging them to take it to the next level by allowing the items to benefit all of the community.

Minister Valerie Lowe demonstrating the use of one of the four cassava mills.
Minister Valerie Lowe demonstrating the use of one of the four cassava mills.

Meanwhile in her overview of the project, Senior Projects Manager of Food For the Poor, Andrea Benjamin explained that the needs assessment for the project was done in late 2013 into 2014 after a request was made by the former Toshao.

Benjamin said that this project is seen as an investment in the community to enhance the lives of the peoples and as such, she is urging that efforts are made to sustain the project.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Food For the Poor, Kent Vincent, his organization is happy that it has contributed to the improvement of the living standards of the community adding that his organization will continue to embark on similar initiatives in other communities.

He urged the residents to work, take care of the boats and effectively manage the operation of the cassava mills to get the maximum benefits.

Food For the Poor began working in Guyana in 1991, delivering food and other basic items to under-privileged people in Guyana. It is now the leading non-governmental organization providing relief to the people of Guyana. In 2014, Food For the Poor shipped 196 containers of goods to Guyana. Shipments to Guyana include goods that serve basic needs, as well as food, medicine, health care items, and educational supplies. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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