New Drop-In Centre, Victim Support Unit for 2018

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Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally has announced the establishment of a new Drop-In Centre, a Victims Support Unit and a domestic violence centre for the East Berbice-Corentyne as the government continues to provide social services to vulnerable groups across the country.

As the 2018 budget debates continue in the National Assembly, Ally on Thursday said the Drop-In Centre will replace the one which was destroyed by fire last year. The structure will be constructed to comfortably house approximately 80 children.

Ally also disclosed that a unit will be established under the Ministry of Social Protection to work in conjunction with the recently opened Sexual Offences Court.

In its effort to address issues of domestic violence in the country, the Minister said social workers have undergone training programmes to become au fait with the various laws and to reach out to victims. This training, she said, will continue next year as well as the rolling out of sensitization programmes.

On care for the elderly, Minister Ally said the government support offered to several geriatric facilities has rigorously intensified. These homes include the Palms, the Hugo Chavez Centre and the Night Centre. Ally announced also that the Palms will next year receive a wheelchair accessible bus for ease of travel for those persons who are in a wheelchair.

Moreover, Ally said the government will be developing a national policy of again to work on the integration of older persons into “mainstream society” to participate in the “national development process”.

At this point, opposition parliamentarian Anil Nandlall heckled that “it’s a self-serving policy” but Ally contended that “it’s a policy for you.”

The Minister further disclosed that a national gender and social inclusion policy will be developed to work to eliminate negative practices that impede equality and equity in society.

Minister Ally also underscored the importance of the skills training programmes which have been undertaken by her Ministry as she pledged to intensify these initiatives in the new year.

“We will continue to work to give unemployed youth the skills to find a decision job, single mother the support she needs to go out and work or start a small business, provide vulnerable persons such as children, elderly, homeless, victims of trafficking with the right care needed to better their lives,” the Minister stated.

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