PRIME Minister, Moses Nagamootoo, on Monday evening, welcomed to Guyana, 400 persons from 60 different nationalities as he officially opened the Logos Hope Book fair.
Boasting hundreds of various titles of affordable books, the vessel is moored at the GNSC Wharf at La Penitence and members of the public will be charged a fee of $200 to board the vessel.
Logos Hope is a ship operated by the German Christian charitable organisation which features a mobile bookstore, as a part of international Christian outreach movement. During a briefing, Director of the Logos Hope, Pil-Hun Park, explained that most of the volunteers are between the ages of 23 to 25 years old and spend up to two years onboard the ship. He also related that their vision is to enhance the wellbeing of the citizens where ever they dock.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo, while delivering remarks, shared how thrilled he was researching the history of the Logos Hope. “This is such a magnificent gesture; the bonding through the sharing of knowledge,” he said. The Prime Minister, while commenting on volunteerism, commended the staff of the ship for their work. “So many young people coming together living on a vessel for two years to spread this goodwill, to share knowledge and help depressed communities… Thank you for coming to Guyana, and on behalf of His Excellency, President David Granger and the people of Guyana, we bid you welcome,” he stated.
Prime Minister Nagamootoo also encouraged the crew to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the city and view the architecture. Logos Hope ship has over 6,000 books in its collection including books for recreational reading, professional references, personality and individual development and books talking about different global cultures. Along with being a book library and store, the volunteers also contribute by helping to build houses and donating essential provisions to the many underprivileged communities in the countries where the ship makes a port call.
The vessel generally visits ports for two weeks and is continually sailing from port to port year-round. Since the launch into active service in February 2009, the Logos Hope has been in several regions: Northern Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, South Asia, and most recently Latin America. In its seven years of existence, the ship has visited 158 countries and assisted over 40 million people.
The Guyana Chronicle spoke with several of the visitors of the vessel who stated that Guyanese should capitalise on the affordable books available on the vessel. Dominic Helwig spoke on his experience saying, “So far the experience has been good the staff here are friendly and welcoming, it’s a different atmosphere. I think it’s a very good initiative, spreading knowledge, going around the world trying to impart knowledge, they have a reasonable collection and the items are reasonably cheap, and I think that more parents should be willing to bring out their kids, give them the opportunity.”
He further said that the admission to the vessel is affordable and that he hopes persons actually know how affordable it is and take the opportunity to go aboard and have the one-of-a-kind experience.
Another visitor, Devina Persaud, related her experience saying, “I never got the chance to come out to the book fair before, so this is my first time. So far it’s really nice, saw allot of books that you rarely see in Guyana and the prices are amazing and the staff they are very informative, they are there willing to assist you with any question and so, basically its really nice and it’s a good initiative for Guyana, I think that schools should get themselves involved and bring out their children to get a tour during the week or so.”
In addition to being able to browse the ship’s vast collection of books, the members of the ship, in an effort to provide entertainment, will be hosting an event called “Meet the world”, which will be performed by crew members where they share their knowledge of cultures of different people across the globe. The crew will also host a two-hour show –The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – on the last day of its stay here.
While in Guyana, the crew members of the Logos Hope will be visiting communities to partake in humanitarian activities. The Logos Hope replaced the Logos 11 in 2004. The vessel is managed by German charitable organisation, GBA Ships. The ship will be open to the public from 18:00hrs until 21:00 hrs and thereafter, each day from 10:00 hrs until 21:00 hrs. On the last day of its stay, it will be open from 14:00 hrs until 21:00 hrs.