Overseas-based Guyanese open educational facilities at Woodley Park
Children and youths of Woodley Park, Region Five now have another venue to socialise and learn a skill thanks to a group of overseas-based Guyanese, including the USA Guyana Humanitarian Inc. and the Ramrattan Family of the United States.
Together, they opened a Library and Information Technology Laboratory at the Ramrattan Social Service Centre for Excellence earlier today.
According to a release from the Ministry of Social Protection, these facilities are now part of the Centre that was commissioned a few years ago by the Ramrattan family to host the annual Academic and Skills Training Workshop for children and youths of the village.
At Thursday’s ceremony, the group simultaneously hosted the graduation ceremony for the third batch of students who completed the annual workshop.
Commending the children and youths for participating, Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence commended the Ramrattan family and their partners and supporters for the work they have done to ensure it remains open.
“I don’t think we can measure the value of what the Ramratan family has done in this community,” she said.
The group hopes to further expand their services offered at the centre by partnering with the Ministries of Agriculture, Education, Social Cohesion and Social Protection.
The Social Protection Minister noted that too often adults believe that taking children along to church is all they need, “but we have to direct our children and lead them in the right direction.”
She told the children that having academic certification is essential, but acquiring a skill is an invaluable experience, as it teaches discipline.
Hence, the Minister noted that her Ministry could not pass up the opportunity to partner with the supporters of these initiatives. Consequently, the Ministry of Social Protection, through the Board of Industrial Training [BIT] will begin a partnership to ensure that the Ramrattan Social Service Centre for Excellence is utilized throughout the year by hosting skills training in various fields for young people.
At the moment, the facility is only opened when the Academic and Skills Training Workshop is held in August.
Treasurer of the group, Ms. Angeli Maystry a professional teacher in the United States, said that the workshop is usually conducted in collaboration with several local volunteers and the group is working on arrangements to have the library and computer facilities open to the children all year long with the support of those volunteers.
Pandit Prabudyal Ramrattan on whose premise the Centre was erected, said he undertook the initiative in response to a need he saw locally during one of his visits home. A former teacher at the Rosignol Primary School, he left Guyana for England in 1966 and eventually settled in the United States. Pandit Ramrattan is a professional teacher and licensed acupuncturist.
President of the USA Guyana Humanitarian Inc. Mr. Mohan Singh said that he has been friends with Pandit Ramrattan for more than 25 years and did not hesitate to partner on this venture having seen the need in many local communities. Singh explained that annually they use the workshops to teach skills in information technology, photography, entrepreneurship, agriculture, leadership, and reading.
Participants are also trained in topical and social issues, and life skills to empower themselves, their families and community. He explained that the grouping also spread their wings in other areas, including Jamaica and New York.