Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of school supplies, among other items, was last week donated to schools located in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) by 10 female overseas-based Guyanese.
Some of the benefactors were Nappi, Parishara, and Kumu primary schools, as well as nursery schools in Lethem.
This open-handed idea became reality after the women read an article on on the Internet about the work of the Adolescent Health Unit of the Public Health Ministry.
The 10 women who came together and made the tangible donation were Lorraine Mapp, Eurcelle Lewis, Loretta Adih, Amanda Mapp, Oni Celestin, Donna Davis, Lynette Grant, Wendella Babb, Lesney Prass and Joyce Celestin.
Dr Oneka Scott, the Maternal Child Health (MCH) Officer (ag) of the Health Ministry, said on Wednesday during the handing over ceremony that the benefactors have since pledged to support the programme on another venture in 2019. The ceremony was held at the Indigenous Conference Hall in the town of Lethem.
Additionally, Dr Scott also used the occasion to address pressing adolescent health matters and teenage pregnancy issues which poses a challenge to some 1000 residents of mainly the Makushi, Patamona, Wapishana, and Wai Wai Indigenous tribes.
The Adolescent Health initiative’s teen pregnancy clinic and the adolescent support groups’ programmes specifically target differently-abled children and adolescents living with HIV/AIDS. This programme started two years ago.
According to Dr Scott, the programme has been well-received in the communities where teenage pregnancy, and particularly incest, in relation to adolescent health issues are significant. She said pregnant teenage girls are more likely to drop out of school to take care of their new-born.
With full support from the region’s health-care workers, teen mothers are now being cared for separately from the adult women. This has effectively enabled teens to have better personal interactions with health-care providers.
Also present at the ceremony was Wilfred Toney who deputised for the 10 women in their absence and assisted in the distribution of the items, along with Shawina Davis, a nurse attached to the Adolescent Health Unit of the Ministry. She was also part of the visiting team. The items donated included haversacks, stationery, toys and clothing for the students.