Offering counselling, skills training and support to individuals and families across the Essequibo Coast, brand new Guyana Foundation Sunrise Centre at Zorg-En-Vlygt, was on Saturday Commissioned.
Founder of The Guyana Foundation, Supriya Singh-Bodden said the is part of the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to provide urgently needed services that will afford persons a better quality of life.
She disclosed that 80 per cent of the focus of The Guyana Foundation’s work programme will now be directed to the Centre and establishing similar hubs across the country.
Most of the facilitators and mental health counsellors attached to the Centre hail from the community itself, in keeping with the Foundation’s vision for the Centre to be grassroots-based and staffed by individuals who understand the challenges in the nearby communities.
Although it was officially commissioned today, 34 persons have already graduated from skills training programmes such as catering, floral arrangement, electrical installation, tie dye and batik designing and doll making.
According to the founder, it has even secured a market in the Grand Cayman for the products which are produced in the fabric designing class.
“A three month pilot phase was successfully completed recently and orders have already been secured from a leading fashion house in the Cayman Islands to purchase all pieces prepared by the design course,” she said.
The feature address at today’s opening was delivered by First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger. She disclosed that the Centre has already begun to make its mark in the communities it serves.
“The Public Hospital at Suddie is referring clients for counselling and this Centre assists persons whose ages range from under 18 to over 66 years old. It has facilitated two Gaining Opportunities and Living Skills (GOALS) Workshops at the Centre itself. The Foundation, throughout its relatively short life, has been providing material and other support to communities needing such assistance in several areas of our country. This Sunrise Centre underlines its commitment to its vision and its mission, which were clearly stated when it was formally established in January 2013,” the First Lady said.
Mrs. Granger lauded the initiative which will help to foster a new beginning for many persons in the Cinderella County.
“The Guyana Foundation recognised a need and was determined to develop a holistic approach to addressing the issues which had been identified. These included depression and hopelessness, joblessness, and the need for empowerment of women and young people. What we have seen here is a sunrise – the symbolic dawn of a new day here on the Essequibo Coast. This is a day on which people can wake up to the promise of a difference in their lives. They know that regardless of gender, race, age, or religion, they can come to this Centre to meet their peers or seek counselling. They can share their thoughts and feelings about the things that affect their daily lives and perhaps, find the solution to some of [them],” Mrs. Granger said.