Mahaica Children’s Home given “gift of play”
Children at the Mahaica Children’s Home is now being able to enjoy the “gift of play,” following a donation from the GAIL Foundation on Thursday.
A donation of playground equipment including swings and seesaws for were given to the children’s home by the non-profit charitable organisation dedicated to helping children in need.
Executive Director of GAIL Foundation, Gail Seeram explained that the idea of assisting children in this form was born in 2010, after one of her visits to Guyana where she recognized the need for a playground at the Smithfield’s Orphanage in New Amsterdam. She noted that, on her return to the United States she founded the organisation and later built a playground for the Smithfield children, representing the it’s first contribution.
Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence, under whose purview the home falls, highlighted the fact that “many times we miss the little things that are soothing to the mind and emotions, the therapeutic remedy for the trauma some of these children would have endured.” Therefore she stated that the equipment will aid in the healing process and possibly “put them in that place where they can begin to think and be alive again.”
Head of the Child Care and Protection Agency Ann Greene who addressed the simple ceremony, noted that “…institutional care is a life saver for some children, but it is not the best care; a child would be better served in a family. According to her, this can be achieved “…by building our foster care programme and the building of families to take care of children.” She intimated that “the institutions can stay, but the time spent should be short.”
The organisation then made further significant donations to the Children of Purpose Orphanage in New Amsterdam, the Guyana Relief Council, New Amsterdam Special Needs School and the Bless the Children Home at Industry, East Coast Demerara.