IN observance of this year’s International Day of Peace, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindyha Persaud, called on all Guyanese to replace hatred and violence with love and kindness, and to help each other through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we struggle to recover from a pandemic that continues to claim lives, batter health and disturb sanity, our Guyanese population must exercise every effort not to contribute knowingly to acts of abuse, hatred, violence and injustice but instead pursue paths of peace and understanding with others which will ultimately contribute to a better quality of life for everyone,” she said in her message in observance of the day which was celebrated on Tuesday under the theme: “Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.”
She said that according to the United Nations (UN), the pandemic has been accompanied by a surge in stigma, discrimination, and hatred.
“Pandemic fatigue – the world over and right here in Guyana – continues to affect people of all walks of life, robbing them of the peace and happiness needed to navigate life’s difficulties. We also come across the hatred, intolerance, unkindness and the lack of compassion from time to time in society that disrupts peace. Some will say that today’s daily travails cause persons to react in a manner that creates discord, but I believe that there is always an avenue to achieve peaceful outcomes,” the minister said.
She added: “In confronting the coronavirus – our common enemy – we must be reminded that we are not each other’s enemy. To be able to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, we need to act responsibly at all times to ensure adherence to best health practices to protect lives and loved ones.”
The minister urged all to do their part, not only to preserve our environment, but humankind as well. She also took the time to call on persons to ensure they get vaccinated “to be protected and survive the relentless onslaught of the pandemic.”
She also used the opportunity to remind the public of the many services that are provided by her ministry.
“I encourage you to utilise the 914 hotline to report any cases of elder, child, gender-based or domestic violence and abuse. Please also report cases of human trafficking and other ills that you may be a witness to,” she added.
Meanwhile, Minister Persaud said that in order to build back in an equitable and sustainable way, the ongoing countrywide Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN), men’s , youth and family programmes are all geared towards helping people to become more independent and to surmount challenges.
Additionally, the Support and Heal Network initiative, a partnership between the ministry and faith-based organisations, continues to address social issues among vulnerable groups and communities across Guyana.
“Together, let us continue to strengthen all endeavours that promote peaceful solutions and higher consciousness that advances peace at all times,” she said.