PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, on Friday, handed over another three houses, built by the Men on Mission (MoM) for vulnerable individuals in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
James Haynes, 55, of Little Africa; 62-year-old Budram Madray of No. 64 village and 62-year-old Drowattie Ramcharran of Williamsburg, joined President Ali in symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremonies, as they each received their respective homes.
Haynes and Madray are both wheelchair-assisted persons, while Ramcharran’s house had collapsed.
The houses were built through a collaboration among MoM, private sector and civil society. The President commended the private sector for its support and work in Region Six.
“In Region Six, the private sector is leading other regions in creating these opportunities,” the President commented.
He added: “I’m very pleased to come and celebrate with this private sector and this family. I want to thank this company for this initiative. We are very, very pleased with the response we’re having.
“We will be able to build a stronger community and a stronger country. When we all share, we become better corporate businesses, better families and better citizens that contribute to the holistic development of our country.”
The house received by Haynes, which cost approximately $5 million, was financed by local businessman, Chris Jagdeo.
Haynes received a fully furnished flat concrete house which includes a wheelchair ramp, which will allow him to move comfortably into and out of his home.
Haynes has been differently abled for the past 15 years after he fell from a height while changing a neighbour’s light bulb.
Due to the fall, Haynes suffered spinal damage resulting in his inability to walk. At that time, Haynes was the sole breadwinner of his family.
He currently lives with his wife, 56-year-old Khemwattie Haynes; daughter, 29-year-old Geeta Haynes, and his four grandchildren ages 10, eight, five, and three years old.
Also present at the handing over ceremony was Regional Chairman for Region Six, David Armogan, and Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill.
It was Minister Edghill who initiated the building of a home for the Haynes family after he discovered the state of their home while assessing roadworks in their community.
Haynes and members of his family thanked everyone who played a role in helping them to receive the furnished house.
“I just want to thank everybody for coming and I want to say thank you to the President and Mr. Edghill for delivering us a home. We were here for a long time and it was so bad and we asked everybody, but nobody was looking at us. So, thank you very much for giving our family a home,” Haynes’ daughter expressed.
Aside from the fully furnished home, Haynes’ grandchildren were also given a laptop computer to help in their education.
At the home of Madray, his wife Parbattie said, “God will bless the president,” as she thanked Dr. Ali for making the house for her possible through the MoM initiative.
Madray’s fully furnished wooden house was constructed in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and local contractors and labourers.
Meanwhile, Ramcharran’s house was rebuilt by a local contracting company, Associated Contracting, and was furnished by local businesses, Quality Deliverer and Pro Business.
Ramcharran has been residing at the property for over 40 years, and currently lives with her 42-year-old son
In addition to handing over the three homes, on Friday morning, the President also visited a beautification project currently being done by MoM in Skeldon.
“That project is ongoing and we’re going to support that project so that this entire community will also benefit from a green, open space, where the children can go and have recreation in a safe environment, where men can provide guidance on leadership and counselling, with good positive values that enriches us as a society,” the President said.
Launched in November 2022, the MoM initiative aims to uplift young men who are exposed to many societal ills, such as drug abuse, domestic violence, gang violence, and other violent crimes.
The intention is to provide them with guidance and counselling, recreational and fitness activities, and create economic empowerment through temporary employment schemes.
Additionally, MoM has been addressing various needs in society ranging from pushing employment ventures to constructing new houses for people. Through this initiative, the President has pledged to build some 150 houses for vulnerable groups.