[www.inewsguyana.com] – The traditional Christmas Kettle launched by the Salvation Army saw President Donald Ramotar, giving the first donation to the charitable cause.
The President delivered the feature address as the annual appeal for public donations by the religious based organisation began as the festive season got underway, at the Georgetown Club today.
President Ramotar said the Salvation Army has somewhat similar objectives to government in that it helps the poor, and vulnerable. He noted that the Education Grant Programme, which resulted in him visiting Paramakatoi in Region Eight on Wednesday, is one such example.
“It is to assist children in school so that they can have the possibility of having a sound education and able to help themselves in many regards”.
The help that the Salvation Army is giving to the vulnerable such as rehabilitating drug addicts was also praised by the President.
“It is one of the best types of help that I can think about, it gives them the capacity to be able to help themselves, and in the process to help others”. It is also good that during this time of peace and goodwill, he said, that “we should have these activities to help put some light in the lives of many people who have fallen on bad times.”
Giving brief remarks, Divisional Commander, Major Emmerson Cumberbatch said that in addition to the core churches that the Salvation Army operates, it also has several other initiatives including a feeding programme.
“It is important that we feed them before we administer to their souls”. He highlighted that the organisation operates a half-way house, a hostel and drug rehabilitation centre. He explained, “Our mission dear friends is to save souls, and after we have them saved, our aim is to better them”. The simple ceremony featured steel pan renditions by the Republican Steel Pan Orchestra, a short skit by clients of the Salvation Army Drug Rehabilitation Centre and a performance by the Divisional Youth Choir.
Officers of the Salvation Army will be stationed by strategic locations near popular stores and businesses as they solicit donations from the general public to fund their charitable programme.
Government provides a subvention for the organisation’s drug rehabilitation programme, but it is dependent on the good will of the general public to support its various initiatives. [Extracted and modified from GINA]