THE reason for this letter is to register on record the sincere thanks and gratitude of the families of the three scholarship awardees who were recognised by Minister Winston Jordan and his ministry as a result of the 2019 NGSA Region Six performance. Editor, we would like the minister to know of how sincere and happy our children are for his genuine and generous assistance in supporting our educational pursuits.
As the father of Pawan Etwaroo, who had tied for the number one spot in Region Six, I would also like to say thanks twice, as it was a result of the very helpful and caring attitude of Mr. Colvin Heath-London, NICIL/SPU CEO that resulted in me gaining employment as a security guard at Albion Estate after I lost my job with GUYSUCO. I must confess that I was very depressed and heartbroken after I was paid severance and after investing same in rebuilding the humble home that my wife and son occupied, I was struggling severely due to the fact that finding employment was a challenging task for me.
Mr. Editor, it was during a frank discussion that I requested some assistance from Mr. Heath-London as I related the great and at times unbearable hardships that my family and I were experiencing. I subsequently gained employment and must say that as a result of Mr. Heath-London’s generosity and assistance, I have been able to provide for my family, thus helping me to keep us all happy.
I confess that I was moved to write with the other families to do this letter as a result of the excellent and fantastic weekend stay that we were rewarded with at the Watooka Guest House. It must be noted that none of us have ever been to Linden and have ever stayed in a hotel of this magnitude and class. Therefore, you can understand how excited, thrilled and captivated we felt as we were blown away by the very high fantastic and very comfortable hotel and experience that our children benefitted from.
Further, the various tours to several educational and historical places and sites in Linden further enhanced the knowledge of our children as we were able to dismantle several myths, while replacing them with facts. We would like to express to Minister Jordan that our tongues are too short to justly express how thankful and happy we are to have been able to see a different part of Guyana, while being educated on the still many rich and breathtakingly beautiful places that exist in this country. I would like to say that as a father seeing the beautiful smiles and deep appreciation from the faces of the children told us a really great story and I would stress that it is one that will forever be remembered by the children and their families. At first, I must confess that I was somewhat hesitant to go upon the trip and this was a result of what many persons living on the Canje and Corentyne areas are told about Linden and people living in Linden. However, while we only spent a weekend, I must admit that it was enough to remove the many myths and perceptions of those living in the mining community. It afforded us a first-hand experience of Guyanese hospitality irrespective of one’s race, colour, religious views and most importantly, cultural heritage. We had a grand time and left the Watooka Guest House with the understanding that Guyana has a lot to offer and the experience that we gained while on this weekend trip was certainly worth more than anything else in the world that money can buy.
Mr Editor, it’s important to add that the financial assistance being provided to our children by NICIL/SPU is greatly appreciated and continues to play a critically important part in enhancing our daily lives. While I am fortunate now to have a job like the father of Chitra, whose father is the only breadwinner in their home, Marrissa is not this fortunate as her mother is able to work only one and sometimes two or three days a week garnering fish glue, which is then used to provide food for her and her four children. I am aware that while Chitra’s family and I have smaller families, Marissa’s mother is saddled with four children with one preparing for CXC this year and a daily challenge of finding transportation money to send her children to school. It’s no secret that its worst for them. However, we are all happy and pleased that the money being given to us respectively is being stretched to do additional things to further reduce some of the grave and unbearable challenges that we are faced with.
Mr Editor, we would have liked to thank Minister Jordan and Mr. Heath-London personally, as we are forever thankful for the genuine and sincere interest and assistance being entrusted in us; however, based on both their very busy schedules, we are cognizant that it may not be possible. Thus, I have decided on behalf of all the families to express our deep thanks and gratitude by way of this letter. I trust and hope that it gets to them both that we are truly happy and grateful to them. I would like to confirm on behalf of my wife and son Pawan and to also reiterate on behalf of Chitra and Marrissa that they will continue working exceptionally hard to maintain high and very impressive grades. As such, this will ensure that Minister Jordan and Mr. Heath-London and all of the other staff at NICIL/SPU remain proud of their academic growth. I can assure the Honourable Minister that in some years’ time these three individuals who were once seen as poverty stricken and financially incapable of supporting themselves through school because of the grave challenges faced by their respective families, would be prominent individuals who would have used poverty to prosperity as their motto in succeeding.
Mr. Editor, on behalf of the three families, I would like to say once again thank you to Minister Jordan and similar thanks to Mr. Colvin Heath-London for his willingness, care and affection in helping our children, as it is through the generous help and assistance of NICIL/SPU that has enabled them all to be able to attend secondary school and also to be able to garner some financial assistance to enable them during their school attendance.
Anand Kumar Etwaroo