[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence has revealed that her Ministry will be working side by side with a welfare committee that was established to target the homeless.
This will ensure that persons are evaluated, and where possible, reintegrated into society. Through the National Task Force Commission, which is responsible for Project Restoration Guyana, the welfare committee, chaired by Major General (Ret’d), Joseph Singh was established.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), the committee comprises persons from the Ministries of Social Protection, Public Health, Public Security, Agriculture and the Mayor and City Council. Its objective is to deal with the welfare management for the homeless, mentally challenged and the addicted.
“There must be an evaluation because you have various persons out there; you have the addicted, the mentally challenged, the homeless and persons who see it as an economic means. We will try as hard as possible to have the families involved, after which we will look at capacity within the health sector to take on those persons, and the centers under the Social Protection Ministry. So we are waiting to see what the budget will look like, and then we will decide whether we will do it by a percentage or take it by areas, but the Government is working on that,” Minister Lawrence emphasised.
As it relates to beggars on the streets, Minister Lawrence revealed that a bit more will have to be done to target this group. She said that it is not just teaching them a skill, or providing the assistance, but also to deal with the mental aspect.
There number of children begging on the streets is also increasing. Minister Lawrence noted that “children are to be taken care of, they are to be nurtured, and they ought not to be out there working because that is child labour”.
She said that a programme has to be instituted to educate persons who use begging as an economic means. Taking the homeless and beggars off the street is one aspect of the multi-pronged approach the government has employed to restore Guyana.