Shaheed’s Girls Orphanage rebuilt after fire, includes a nurse station

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There are plans to have a nurse station at the Shaheed’s Girls Orphanage in Oleander Gardens, East Coast Demerara.

The orphanage has completed major construction works six months after it was destroyed by fire last October.

Raheema Rahaman, Chief Executive Officer for the Orphanage said, “Instead of rushing them to clinics, because they have to wait in long lines and they spend like all day with the caregiver…so hopefully by the grace of Allah we want to build a nice small nursing station where we can have a 24 hours someone to come in where they can monitor the children and so on.”

The Orphanage has the capacity to facilitate 35 but currently has 18 girls and their caregiver.

With cash donations and materials, the structure was rebuilt at a total cost of $35M.

Rahaman said sewing machines, computers, stoves, refrigerators and furniture were all destroyed in the fire.

Raheema Rahaman, Chief Executive Officer for the Orphanage

“The cause of the fire is through one of the young ladies that came in there and the lady that was there, the caregiver apparently like she was a little bit too rough on her and asked her to go and wash her clothes.

“Reluctantly she went downstairs and she decide instead of washing it, she burn the clothes, but the clothes burning was not intentionally to burn the place down,” Rahaman said.

According to her, the Guyana Fire Service inspected the building before it was re-opened and committed to doing regular fire drills with the girls.

The girls will also be introduced to counselling sessions.

Before the fire the girls did karate, cricket and sewing and the Chief Executive Officer said she took them swimming as a distraction from the loss they suffered.

“To get them not wrapped up into their emotions and their little things that they lost, because a couple of them come and said, ‘Aunty Dolly I lost my doll’ and some with the toys, some with the games, their school books, their school clothes…but within two days, we were able to get school clothes and books and stationeries and take them straight to school.”

The building is not fully completed and does not have enough furniture, but about a week ago the girls moved back in.

She said, “I think they are quite happy and comfortable now.”

After the fire, the girls stayed at the Shaheed’s Boys Orphanage in Kitty Georgetown.

The Chief Executive officer expressed her gratitude to former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally for their help in restoring the orphanage in a short space of time.

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