Men on Mission not duplicating gov’t efforts – Chief of Staff

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Several areas of focus are being targeted by the ‘Men on Mission’ initiative this year but Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Chief of Staff Brigadier Godfrey Bess says these plans are not duplicating the efforts of existing government ministries or other bodies.

Instead, Brigadier Bess told reporters on Monday that activities executed by the Men on Mission (MoM) are pursued in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders.

This year, the body hopes to build at least 50 houses for vulnerable individuals across the country. Focus will also be directed towards influencing positive behavioural change among men, promoting men’s health, transforming the environment, building capacity for emergency relief and the rehabilitation of homeless individuals.

Brigadier Bess, who serves as the Chairman of the MoM initiative, acknowledged that MoM’s goals this year are ambitious but assured the public that the men’s group will not undermine established bodies.

“… I must say, we are very conscious of duplicity and the good thing about Men on Mission is that we have got partners in all of these organisations in Guyana.

“We have mentors and mentees in all of these organisations and they’re all onboard,” Brigadier Bess said at a press conference held at Base Camp Ayanganna on Monday.

He also stressed that this 2023 work programme is expected to deepen existing partnerships with the joint services, community and faith-based organisations and the private sector.

The MoM initiative was launched by President Dr. Irfaan Ali in 2022. About 1,000 men were expected to join in community development efforts but it is believed that this number was greatly surpassed.

In fact, MoM’s Public Relations Committee Chairman Alex Graham on Monday said there are more volunteers than the body is able to effectively deploy.

As such, efforts are being made to document the skills and expertise each volunteer possesses so that aid can be more effectively dispatched.

Efforts are also being made to improve systems of accountability within the MoM initiative.

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