First Lady pushes ‘adopt-an-orphanage’ as viable solution for underfunded homes


Just months after a causal conversation with US-based Guyanese rapper SAINt JHN at State House, in which the passion for supporting children in institutional care overlapped, First Lady, Mrs. Arya Ali on Tuesday launched the ‘Adopt-an-Orphanage’ initiative.

It was at that meeting on October 2, 2020, that the idea was birthed; the First Lady and her team would spend the next seven months engaging corporate Guyana and in the first phase will see seven businesses and two individuals providing financial support to eight orphanages over the next six to 12 months.

First Lady, Mrs Arya Ali meets with Guyanese rapper SAINt JHN at State House on October 2, 2020

In the multi-stakeholder approach, the project has also received the support of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

SAINt JHN, in a brief but passionate video message on Tuesday, said it was a proud moment for him. In restating his commitment to supporting children’s homes across Guyana, he said it should never come down to the decision of having to give up one important thing for another. “It should never be bicycle or books.”

Overseas-based Guyanese rapper, SAINt JHN, in a brief but passionate video message being aired at State House (Photo: Keno George/June 29, 2021)

Mrs. Ali shared his excitement, positing that businesses would play a meaningful role in supporting these orphanages and helping them to alleviate some of the financial burdens which pose challenges in the provision of quality services.

“The children that you are pledging your commitment to today are not as fortunate as many of us were. They have already been deprived of a biological family and it is our duty to ensure they are afforded the basic necessities in life to realize their full potential,” the First Lady said.

The support to these orphanages includes but is not limited to utilities, repairs, and maintenance and will be done with oversight from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

At the same time, the project was designed to achieve more than just providing support to these homes and children. The First Lady believes it is an opportunity for persons to recognise the disparity that exists and for them to open their hearts to the plight of children who are most vulnerable.

First Lady Mrs Arya Ali with representatives from the various companies that have adopted an orphanage

Meanwhile, present along with sponsors and representatives was the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud who underscored the meaningfulness and purposefulness of the project and applauded all stakeholders.

“It will impact on the lives of many children and will definitely make the type of intervention at a critical stage of their lives,” she said.

The orphanages to benefit in the first phase of the project include Joshua House, Bless the Children Home, Ruimveldt Children’s Home, St John Bosco Orphanage, Canaan Children’s Home, Shaheed Boys and Girls, St Ann’s Orphanage, and Prabhu Sharan Orphanage.

The sponsors are GYSBI, Taslim Baksh, Atlantic Ventures Inc., Impressions Group, Innovations America, Sammy’s, Anter Narine, Oasis Café, and Demerara Bank Limited.

They will be providing monthly assistance to the orphanages.

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