CLOSE to 300 primary school students from West Berbice are recipients of new backpacks filled with school supplies and personal hygiene items from members of the US-based Charity Backpack International Inc (BP Int. Inc).
“We came to Guyana catering for 250 children and we ended up with 295 or more,” founder member of BP Int. Inc., Oslyn Rodriguez said.
The presentation was made at the end of a Vacation Bible School (VBS) held at the Hope Lutheran Church, Plantation Ross, West Coast Berbice.
The organisers included Rodriguez, who travelled from Auburn Alabama with five other members of her religious non-profit organisation, as well as local school teachers and West Berbice church members who volunteered their services.
Rodriguez explained that she is a Guyanese who was born in Linden and lived at Belle Vue Village, West Coast Berbice not far from Planation Ross during her formative years.
She left Guyana to live overseas in 1987 and returned home in 2015 for a family re-union at Ross with her grandparents. She said that it was then she said she felt the need to lend a helping hand to children at Ross and surrounding villages by providing them with school supplies, educational gifts and toys and schooling them in the basic tenets of Christianity.
“I am a trained school teacher and school administrator. I saw the difference education made in my life. Also Jesus was introduced to me by my grandparents. So Jesus and education were the two things that made a difference in my life and so that is why BP Int Inc was formed. I wanted to be able to provide school supplies such as colouring books, markers, crayons and some of [the other] basic necessities such as hygiene items [and] toys, because when the kids are off from school in summer what are they left to do? Nothing to do and then they are going to get into trouble so a main goal of BP Inc. is to bridge the gap between school and the church and doing so by a VBS programme and then providing them with backpacks filled with items so they can keep themselves entertained in a constructive way.”
Rodriguez disclosed that this is the second year that BP Int Inc has been active in West Berbice.
“We had one hundred and two children registered last year. This year’s attendance almost tripled that amount. We will, God’s willing, be back again for the kids in West Berbice… soon,” she said.