SINCE the early 1990s, the George Subraj Foundation with members based in New York, has been coordinating a number of health initiatives across Guyana,and doing so with personal funds, in an effort to give back to the country.
Founder, Mr George Subraj (now deceased), always believed in helping the people of Guyana, according to his son Anthony ‘Tony’ Subraj, who is one of the five persons carrying on the late Mr. Subraj’s legacy.
Anthony, born and raised in New York, is into real estate business in New York, along with his family and now serves as President of the foundation. His mom, Gloria, and sister Jasmine, help to continue the work of the foundation, along with veteran journalist and media personality Richard B. Mahase and Coordinator Mahendra Jainarine.
Representatives of the foundation have come to Guyana at minimum, two times per year
over the past three years since Mr Subraj died. “My dad has[sic] been coming since the early ’90s. As a son of the soil, he always believed in helping people. He’s done well in his life, and he decided that it was his mission in life to give back to the country where he was born. We are trying to continue his legacy; this is my heritage,” Anthony expressed during an interview with the Pepperpot Magazine.
He left Guyana for home last week Saturday after participating in a number of eye clinics that were held across the country by the foundation. “We co-ordinated a number of different health initiatives. We’ve done 34 kidney transplants, the first one in Guyana that my dad spearheaded; over 100 cornea transplants. Now we are training a local villager to reach out to the village and help them to monitor their glucose levels, diabetes, weight, blood pressure. These are all health initiatives that my dad started and we are trying to continue them,” he informed.
The foundation started the eye clinics where the members would travel to various parts of Guyana, along with a team from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. “About 20 doctors, 40 volunteers…Our foundation purchases all of the medication, eyeglasses. Some cannot get to Georgetown because of different factors, so we take the specialists to them to help them save costs,” Anthony further pointed out, adding that the members do not hold fundraisers, but use personal funds to get their work done.
“It’s a little overwhelming because it is a lot of work. I never realised how much work it is, but it’s very rewarding, especially when you meet some of the villagers. It’s very rewarding to see how some of the things that are easy to get are unattainable for these villagers. It’s rewarding to bring the services to them,” Anthony expressed.
Some of the foundation members are still here in Guyana after completing eye clinics in several areas. “We went to Mahaica yesterday and that used to be the rice grounds that my dad and grandfather worked on….our family had a rice mill, and some of these people remembered my dad and grandfather,” he said.
The team also visited Wakenaam Cottage Hospital where some 700 persons received eye care; 450 screens were done in Mahaica, and hundreds more were cared for in Corentyne St. Cuthbert’s Mission. Last Thursday, an eye clinic was also held for the Guyana Police Force at its training centre.
“Overall, we have given over 10,000 pairs of eyeglasses in the last two years and we’ve visited Leguan, Black Bush Polder, Linden, Bartica, Cane Grove, Wales, and other communities. We just accomplished a major project in neighbouring Suriname; we did the first kidney transplant for the country and we are starting our kidney transplant programme there,” Anthony informed the Pepperpot.