Eight orphanages in Guyana are the first to benefit from the “Adopt an Orphanage” initiative, a programme under the Office of the First Lady, where private sector entities have come onboard to offset financial obligations at these homes.
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security will also have oversight over the project.
A Memorandum of Understanding was today signed between the seven businesses and two individuals which are now assuming the responsibility of financial aid to the orphanages.
Those to benefit over the next couple of months include Joshua House, Bless the Children Home, Ruinveldt Children’s Home, St John Bosco Children’s Home, Canaan Children’s Home, Shaheed Boys and Girls Orphanage, St Ann’s Orphanage and Prabhu Sharan Orphanage.
The sponsors are GYSBI, Atlantic Ventures Inc., Innovations America, Sammy’s, Oasis Cafe, Demerara Bank Limited, Anter Narine, Taslim Baksh, and Neal Sukhlall.
First Lady Arya Ali has explained that the idea for this initiative was birthed last year during her interaction with Guyanese-born singer and songwriter, SAINt JHN.
“Many ideas and opinions we shared during our discussion, some of which overlapped. If it was one thing we all agreed on, it was that orphanages in Guyana required considerable investments to improve the children in its care…,” Mrs Ali said.
She noted that intervention was needed, having found that many homes are underfunded and there are necessities beyond meals are utilities.
“After putting some thought in to it I, proposed this sustainable solution which guarantees continuous support for these institutions, I discussed with my team the idea of using my Office to create a link between these orphanages and corporate Guyana, what we now dubbed the adopt an Orphanage Initiative,” she explained.
“Businesses would play a meaningful role in supporting these orphanages and helping them to alleviate some of the financial burdens which pose challenges in the provision of quality services, while those same businesses will be able to fulfill their corporate social responsibility,” the First Lady added.
Meanwhile, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud outlined that these children must have more than just basic necessities.
“This is where this initiative will allow those who will benefit today to utilise the funds that they would’ve had to divide between necessities and what the children can benefit from in addition. So I think it is an initiative that must be sustained and I would like to compliment Saint JHN for bringing his passion to this initiative and also everyone who found the space in their heart to contribute, to support, to reach out to something that you may not realise how much it means to the child who will benefit,” Minister Persaud said.
Carlos St. John Phillips, known professionally as Saint Jhn, is a Guyanese-American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. He released his first album under the Saint Jhn moniker, Collection One, in March 2018. He is best known for his single “Roses”, initially released in 2016.