–through second phase of First Lady’s enhanced ‘Adopt-An-Orphanage’ initiative
THE Office of the First Lady, on Thursday, officially launched phase two of her “Adopt-An-Orphanage” initiative, through which some 11 homes in Guyana will receive support from local businesses for approximately six to 12 months.
The programme was launched at the Hope Children’s Home on the East Coast of Demerara, on Thursday morning.
First Lady Arya Ali, in her address at the launch, said that over a year ago, her office recognised that local orphanages were, in some cases, struggling to cover basic overhead expenses and provide for the children.
She added that many of those homes were merely surviving off of the generosity of kind-hearted citizens and occasional sponsors.
“And so, I made a decision to change that by introducing a programme which guarantees support in a sustainable way,” the First Lady said.
The Adopt-An-Orphanage initiative was launched to connect homes with corporate sponsors who would provide financial support.
During the programme’s first phase, Mrs Ali noted that eight orphanages were adopted and provided with much-needed support.
According to the First Lady, the number has increased this year because of the support from sponsors like the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Guyana Shore Base Inc., Demerara Bank, Go Logistics, China Trading, Vitality, Optique Ninon and Premier Construction.
“In this phase, it is not just about providing financial support to these orphanages. This programme is being expanded to include a number of specialised services and activities which support the holistic development of our children,” the First Lady said.
Further, Mrs. Ali related that this phase will include visitation to the homes, officials spending personal one-on-one time with the children, and medical care inclusive of dental and eye testing services.
She added that sponsors will also provide tutoring services to those who need it, and take the children on field trips, picnics and to the movies, so that they could experience a “normal life.”
In addition, the First Lady said that her office in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, will be examining a robust transition plan for teenaged orphans who are stepping into adulthood.
The Office of the First Lady will also be engaging corporate Guyana to provide employment opportunities for those persons, while also seeking to make training and other opportunities available to foster their professional development.
The 11 orphanages set to benefit from this phase of the programme are Joshua House Children Centre, Bless the Children’s Home, Ruimveldt Children’s Home, St. John Bosco Orphanage, Shaheed’s Boys Orphanage, Shaheed’s Girls Orphanage, St. Ann’s Orphanage, Prabhu Sharan Orphanage, Hope Children’s Home, Red Cross Convalescence and Canaan Children’s Home.