By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Grant aids totaling US$600,000 was last evening handed over to three local Non – Governmental Organizations (NGOs) by the United States Embassy.
The money is expected to be used by the receiving agencies to fight instances of gender based violence across the country with an aim to eliminate the scourge.
Among the recipients that worked tirelessly to receive the funding are: the Roadside Baptist Skills Training Centre which received US$89,962; Child Link which received US$99,999 and Red Thread which received almost US$400,000.
Addressing scores of persons gathered at the Official Residence of the U.S. Ambassador, including government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and rights activists, Charge d’ Affaires Bryan Hunte explained that the money will be used to enable the organizations to expand their existing grass root work to prevent violence and to assist victims in a meaningful way.
He said the significant achievements Guyana has made can go unrecognized but urged that persons never cease to raise awareness, particularly of the work that still needs to be done.
“Gender based violence cuts across ethnicity, race, class, religion, education level and international boundaries,” Hunte said; adding that “an estimated one in three women worldwide have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime.”
He said that children are particularly vulnerable, pointing out that almost 50 percent of all assaults worldwide are against girls 15 and younger.
The Charge d’ Affaires said he is confident that if government, civil society and the private sector work together the fight can be won to eliminate gender based violence from society.
Meanwhile, Chair of the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Indranie Chandarpaul Pointed out that there is still a lot of work left to be done.
She said, in her personal opinion, this type of violence cannot be eliminated but must be reduced and called for all stakeholders to keep raising awareness.
She recognized the need for a collaborative effort to tackling this type of violence.