The organisation is a US-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that shares a similar vision to that of the First Lady. The Mission’s most recent project is the construction of a new centre at Ankerville, Port Mourant, which will offer to the residents of Berbice a wide range of social services, which includes skills-training and counselling for at-risk youths, domestic violence victims, single mothers and senior citizens.
The First Lady lauded the work of the organisation and indicated that it would be useful for them to work collaboratively with the Ministries of Social Cohesion and Social Protection.
“I am very concerned about the welfare of children, adolescent pregnancy and of course many issues relating to women, so your mission dovetails very nicely with a lot of things I have on my mind,” Mrs. Granger said.
The US$400,000 building is expected to be commissioned in August. However, the organisation needs additional funding to complete the furnishing of the centre to make it fully operational.
Sugrim said that the Mission’s main focus is to provide educational and empowerment opportunities as tools to help break the cycle of poverty. He added that his organisation looks forward to working closely with the new Administration, particularly the Office of the First Lady, in tackling some of the social problems in the region.
Mrs. Granger said that there will be a conference in September, organised by the Social Cohesion Ministry, which is intended to bring together NGOs, faith-based organisations, the private sector and government agencies with the aim of formulating a holistic strategy to address issues such as prostitution, teenage pregnancy, illiteracy, domestic violence, substance abuse and other such issues. She noted that groups like the New Jersey Arya Samaj Humanitarian Mission will be invited to participate in that conference.
The Mission, which is funded by Guyanese in the United States and Canada, has been working in Guyana since 2005. The Port Mourant facility is the first of its kind under its ‘Village Project’ initiative. [Extracted and modified from GINA]