By Cindy Parkinson
THE Pepperpot Magazine travelled from the nation’s capital, Georgetown, to Kildonan Village in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) to interact with the locals and get an insight into their day-to-day activities as well as their social and economic activities that are promoting community development.
Kildonan sits between Nurney on the west and Bush Lot on the east and is a quiet, welcoming and beautiful village. The once sparsely populated village is now adorned with educational and religious facilities, a mechanic shop, restaurants, bars, grocery shops and snackettes, with a population of approximately 500 to 700 residents. A rich ethnic diversity among its people makes the village pleasantly interesting.
Collin Moore, the councillor representing Kildonan at the Adventure/Bush Lot Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), explained that his community is in a better place than it once was five to six years ago. He noted that the village was once identified as a “hot spot” where young people would engage in illegal activities at different corners of the village. Moore, along with other individuals from the community, is working with the youths to ensure that they are actively involved in sports, which he believes will benefit them in the future. Moore happily shared that he has recently seen several young people showing an interest in leadership roles in the community.
He added that, upon invitation by the village cricket club, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Charles Ramson, visited Kildonan and saw some of the challenges the youths faced. “The minister committed to returning to the village and contributing to the development of sports such as cricket, football and, most recently, a youth basketball team.” The NDC councillor is very optimistic that Minister Ramson will deliver on his promise for the community’s youths.
“Even though we may have our own differences within the community, I can safely say that the people always stick together regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. In general, the people are caring and welcoming to newcomers who have moved to Kildonan,” Moore explained.
In terms of economic activities, the community is well known for its dairy, cash crops and rice growers. Moore said that they have had conversations with the Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, to get the young people to have a positive outlook on agriculture and its benefits. Due to the inclement weather, development work on some of the street projects has ceased until it is deemed possible to continue.
Moore added that Kildonan also has a night school that facilitates single parents and “school dropouts” with their studies. “It’s a way for those people to continue their education despite the obstacles,” he explained.
The team from this publication was greeted with a warm reception from the people of the community and Moore, who made himself available to escort the members around. It was recognised that being in Kildonan early in the morning gave the team a first-hand opportunity to see the adults and children rushing off to work and school. While some waited on transportation, others walked to their respective destinations and a few rode their bicycles and motorcycles.
Being in their presence, one could have felt the love and unity amongst the neighbours as they conversed in front of each other’s homes. Some chatted along the roadside and even the animals appeared as though they had somewhere to be as they strolled through the village.
Kildonan brought a sense of relaxation and calmness that only the country can give — an unforgettable experience that is very different from the city and makes you appreciate life’s simplicity.